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A DREAMER 



A DREAMER 



BY 



KATHARINE WYLDE 



IN THREE VOLUMES 
VOL. L 



WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS 

EDINBURGH AND LONDON 

MDCCCLXXX 



All Rights reserved 



v./ 



PART I. 



PRELIMINARY 



VOL. I. 



For every man has a past, some knowledge of which is 
necessary to the understanding of his present or the forecast- 
ing of his future. 



A D R E A M E R. 



CHAPTER I. 

The Rev. Arthur Temple was the most pop- 
ular pastor in one of our large manufacturing 
towns. His hair had early turned white, but 
his face, even when he had become elderly, 
remained unwrlnkled and bright, lighted by 
kind dark eyes and a beaming smile. Mr 
Temple belonged to the Evangelical section 
of the Church of England, but his good nature 
and good sense had prevented him from 
becoming an injurious persecutor, or even a 
rigidly intolerant dogmatist. He was a suc- 
cessful man in his own way, for he was not 
ambitious : if his desires had ever travelled 



4 A DREAMER. 

in the direction of bishoprics or money-bags, 
he had long since recalled the wanderers 
home, and he was more than content with his 
comfortable parsonage, his crowded church, 
and his active and useful life. He was an 
ideal pastor, in fact : outside his home he was 
always benevolent, cheerful, patient, and wise. 

I say outside ; for within doors a shadow oc- 
casionally settled on his smooth forehead, and 
the smile would disappear when he was quite 
alone or only in his wife's company. Mr and 
Mrs Temple had a secret anxiety that was 
never really forgotten by them in their seren- 
est moments. 

There are people who live near a burning 
mountain, and perhaps daily expect an erup- 
tion therefrom ; and there are others who have 
one particular dependent or relative to whom 
their thoughts fly instinctively the moment 
they hear there is a calamity abroad, or that 
a misdemeanour is committed or feared. The 
anxiety, the bugbear, the volcano, was Philip. 

This beloved son of the good clergyman and 
his gentle wife had never met with any serious 



PRELIMINARY. 5 

misfortune, except once pulling a gateway 
down and crippling himself for six months ; 
nor had he ever been guilty of any flagrant 
iniquity beyond sowing a crop of wild oats 
when at college, which had grown up chiefly 
to his own hurt, and which had been quickly 
regretted and forsaken. But he alarmed his 
parents. They had no confidence In him ; he 
puzzled and offended them : they never under- 
stood what he was doing, nor guessed what he 
would do next ; they lived in continual dread 
that he would some day and somehow '* come 
to a bad end." 

Philip Temple was the Ugly Duckling of 
the fairy tale, all the more trying to his parents 
because he was the only duckling they had. 
It by no means follows that he was a swan, or 
even a goose. I start with no theory on that 
point. I do not so much as observe whether 
he was above or below the ordinary duck ; but 
most certainly his nature was different from 
that of his parents. Mr and Mrs Temple 
brought up their child in the way he should 
go, but Philip seemed born to refute the asser- 



6 A DREAMER. 

tiou appended to the proverbial Injunction on 
which they had based their method of educa- 
tion. He departed very considerably from 
that particular '' way." 

Philip Temple was a martyr to theories. 
He had theories on all subjects, which he 
seldom condescended to explain, and which 
were perpetually bringing him into scrapes, 
sometimes because he carried them out, some- 
times because he did not 

A great contrast he was to his cousin and 
contemporary, Oliver Temple, who from his 
birth upwards had been held before him as 
a pattern, and whom he hated accordingly. 
Philip, conceited enough, like most young 
persons, considered himself quite a match for 
his cousin. His mere love of theorising 
placed him on a higher level at once in his 
own estimation ; and nothing was more ridicu- 
lous, he thought, than Oliver's shallow. Inane 
smile, when he (Philip) chanced to advert to 
his opinions. 

In those days Philip had a pompous way of 
saying, If his conduct were discussed, " I had 



PRELIMINARY. 7 

a reason," that was generally provocative of 
laughter — reasonable mortals being rare, and 
not, one would think, in the least like Philip. 
But he went on his way without heeding the 
laughter, which seemed to him a crackllnor of 
thorns under a pot ; neither did he heed repri- 
mands, nor expostulations, nor his mother's 
tears (which flowed rather easily), nor by 
no means unfrequent punishments during his 
school and college days. At the same time, 
he was strict with himself, and found his own 
good opinion exceedingly valuable : fear of 
seeminor inconsistent seldom held him back 
from change of conduct, if change of opinion 
demanded it ; and as he never explained any- 
thing, his behaviour not unfrequently perplexed 
those most anxious to think well of him. 

Mr Temple had designed his son for his 
own profession : the boy had abilities, and, his 
parents had at one time believed, " signs of 
grace ; " but he did not develop as they had 
expected, and Mr Temple was beginning him- 
self to have doubts about the grace, when 
Philip, now an undergraduate at Cambridge, 



8 A DREAMER. 

announced that he had no intention of enter- 
ing the ministry. Mr Temple sorrowfully re- 
quested his son to choose another profession. 
No such easy matter this, however. 

Late one Saturday evening they were sitting 
together talking it over. Mr Temple had 
suggested two or three courses, all of which 
were indignantly scouted by Philip. 

*' Then there is the Bar," said the clergyman, 
yawning. He had still his sermon for the 
morrow to revise, and was sleepy and a little 
tired of the conversation. Philip was very 
tired of it. He was a lean, lanky lad, with 
dark eyes somewhat cavernous, and a brown 
complexion. He looked preternaturally serious, 
and was a little cross, perhaps from sharing 
his father's tendency to slumber. 

" The Bar ! '' echoed Philip ; '' ten years of 
idleness and thirty of imposture." 

" Imposture ? " 

'' Lies right and left." 

" Nonsense ! Well, what do you wish your- 
self ? " (getting Irritated) — " medicine ? " 

" A very indecent profession," said Philip. 



PRELIMINARY. 9 

Mr Temple pushed back his chair wrath- 
fully. " Really, Philip, your folly is unbear- 
able." 

" Doctors are good, useful men," said the 
boy, " but over-wise. If I were a doctor I 
should be desperately afraid of knowing too 
much. Fancy an intimate acquaintance with 
}'our neighbour's stomach, and a consciousness 
that charming Miss de Broke's liver is at fault, 
when other people think she has been crossed 
in love. A doctor labours under great social 
disadvantages.'^ 

" I suppose what you really mean by social 
disadvantaofes is loss of caste. Doctorinor is 
not an aristocratic profession." . 

'' Pooh, my dear father ! there is nothing 
aristocratic about us ; we belong, I consider, to 
the middle class. I like the middle class ; I 
intend to stay in it. But nevertheless I don't 
feel drawn to medicine. I will trouble you for 
another suoforestion." 

" You might make one yourself. Pray, 
Phil, have you never considered the sub- 
ject ■ 



10 A DREAMER. 

The boy shrugged his shoulders. 
"If you chose to exert yourself," pursued 
Mr Temple, " I believe you could secure a 
fellowship." 

'' I don't want a fellowship. I hate sine- 
cures and idleness." 

" There is no need to be idle." 
" I should be idle. I need steady work." 
'' You might devote yourself to science." 
" And be a learner all my life. There is an 
eternity about science that appals me. Be- 
sides, I should get unspeakably tired of being 
hemmed in by impassable facts. I want more 
room for my genius than I can get in astro- 
nomy or physics. Metaphysics are more in 
my line. You can wander ingeniously into 
Fancy there, while you say you are strictly 
within Reason. A geologist ? No, I will 
sooner sit down among the clouds, and call 
myself a philosopher." 

" A pretty philosopher you would make," 
muttered Mr Temple. 

'' My dear father," said Philip, with much 
seriousness, " I wish you would not be angry 



PRELIMINARY. II 

with me. You think I am only disputing. I 
am really saying what I believe." 

" I confess, Philip, I am vexed that after all 
this time, and all the money spent on your 
education, you do not yet seem capable of 
doinof one single useful thine." 

'' I hope I am capable^' said Philip, offend- 
ed. " I suppose I could do any of the things 
you have mentioned. I only said I did not 
wish to." 

" Then what do you wish ? You say you 
don't want to be idle : finding objections to 
every profession under the sun looks uncom- 
monly like idleness. Do you want to emi- 
grate ? or have you authorship In the back- 
ground of your thoughts?" 

" To emigrate ? Certainly not. And I 
should not like to sell my thoughts for 
bread." 

" Fiddlesticks ! The question is whether 
you have any thoughts." 

" Precisely," said Philip. 

" Well, I suppose the decision must be 
postponed. It is a great mistake. A man 



12 A DREAMER. 

should have a distinct object in view through 
the whole of his college course, as I had." 

'' My dear father, have a little patience. 
You know I always intended to follow your 
profession. You should feel for a fellow sud- 
denly robbed of his object in life." 

" It is a great disappointment to me, Philip." 

" I know it is. I am very sorry. I am 
disappointed myself — in a way." 

" I have consented to your giving up the 
Church," said Mr Temple, rising, and prepar- 
ing to extinguish the lamp, '' because I feel 
that, in your present unconverted and unbe- 
lieving state — it gives me great pain to say 
such things, Philip — you are not fit for it. I 
trust you to find some other useful profession 
to which I can consign you, not indeed with 
the same gladness, but at least with satisfac- 
tion." This was a well-rounded period, calcu- 
lated to awe the provoking youth. 

" It is a pity," said Philip, " to force a round 
man into a square hole, as somebody has said. 
The man gets squeezed, and the hole isn't 
filled." 



PRELIMINARY. 1 3 

" Pooh ! Who wants to force you into a 
square hole ? Get Into a round one, for pity's 
sake." 

'' Can't find one." 

" There are plenty of round holes if you 
will only use your eyes. There is no need for 
all this hesitation," said Mr Temple, a prac- 
tical man, with plenty of common-sense, who 
never hesitated about anything. 

"*The time is out of joint,'" muttered 
Philip. " ' O cursed spite, that ever I was 
born to set it riorht ! ' " 

o 

*' The time out of joint, did you say ? " 
called Mr Temple after him, as Philip moved 
to the door ; " not a bit of it. It is you who 
are out of joint, my dear fellow." 

Philip went to his room, and sat down 
solemnly to consider whether he were out of 
joint or not ; also whether he could not gravi- 
tate towards any of the professions mentioned. 

" I will be a doctor," he said to himself. " I 
will learn that strange word diagnosis ; I 
will be patient with hypochondriacal, nervous, 
and dyspeptic patients ; I will be sympathetic 



14 A DREAMER. 

about a charming woman's first baby, and 
all the troubles connected therewith, by the 
mysterious arrangements of Providence. I 
think I could do all that in process of time, if 
I didn't hang myself first. By Jove, could I 
though ? I suspect I wasn't born a doctor. 
I am much too healthy myself" He yawned 
and surveyed his lean nervous fingers with a 
grim satisfaction. " Til be a lawyer, and sit 
still in a web till a fly drops in. Then I will 
take a great interest in dissecting the fly's 
grievances before I devour it. That is what 
I will do ; but I will gang my own gait a bit 
first." He walked to the bookshelf, and, tak- 
ing down a small volume, copied a sentence 
into his pocket-book. 

" ' O my brother ' (viz., myself), ' be not thou 
a Quack. Die rather. It is but dying once, 
and thou art quit of it for ever. Cursed is 
that trade; and bears curses, thou knowest not 
how, long ages after thou art departed, and 
the wages thou hadst are all consumed ; nay, 
as the ancient wise have written, — through 
Eternity itself, and is verily marked in the 



PRELIMINARY. 15 

Doom-book of a God.' " Philip replaced the 
book, re-read the extract, then went back to 
his father. Mr Temple's sermon was pushed 
aside. He was not thinking of It ; he was 
thinking of his son. Philip knelt down by 
his father's side, and laid his hand in the one 
extended to him. 

" What is It, my boy ? '' said Mr Temple. 

" I am come to bid you good night, father. 
I don't like being sent to bed in disgrace." 

Mr Temple smiled. He drew the boy to 
his fatherly breast. Then he preached him a 
sermon. 

" It never enters into your head that you 
may be wrong, I suppose ? " questioned 
Philip. 

" God's Word is never wrong," said Mr 
Temple conclusively, laying his hand on the 
Bible. Philip rose to his feet, chilled and 
disappointed. 

" There is no use In arguing," he said 
gloomily, and went to bed. 

Philip returned to Cambridge, the question 
of a profession still undecided, and continued 



l6 A DREAMER. 

to theorise and experiment upon many things 
— not much upon prescribed study, but a good 
deal, as I have said, on the culture of the dan- 
gerous plant called wild oats. It was chiefly 
a matter of experiment with him ; he did not 
exactly know what he was about ; his prin- 
ciples were shaken on many subjects ; he had 
no decided aim in view ; and he was ganging 
his own gait a bit before he began to seek for 
a definite aim. He told himself he could and 
would turn round the moment he wished it, 
and he was revelling in the first sense of 
freedom and power. In a word, he had fallen 
a victim to what has been termed an attack of 
moral measles. 

Philip went further than he had intended, 
of course — people who begin to run down-hill 
generally do ; and he did a good deal of mis- 
chief not only to himself, but to his followers. 
He had many followers, his nature being of a 
kind to attract or repel vigorously. The per- 
son most harmed was one Henry Mortimer, 
a gentle, brilliant, lovable creature, who had 
never made a theory nor fixed a principle in 



PRELIMINARY. 17 

his life, and who, once started on the down- 
ward course, had no power to stop himself. 

Philip left Cambridge in something very 
much akin to disgrace, and without having 
taken the brilliant degree expected of him. 
He was in a secretly mortified and regretful 
condition of mind, which gradually turned into 
an honest though silent repentance. But his 
parents were as much perplexed and distressed 
by him as usual. Philip had come home with- 
out the meekness of the returning prodigal, 
was cold and silent, would explain nothing, 
promise nothing. He met his father's religion 
with a stiff incredulity, and his mother's plead- 
ing with a frown. Suddenly, without consult- 
ing any one, he accepted a subordinate post 
offered to him In a Government mission to 
Paris, and left home, greatly to the displeasure 
of his parents, — for they thought, like many of 
their countrymen, that everything French was 
wrong ; and when Philip crossed the Channel, 
they felt as If they were consigning him to 
perdition. 

Philip had lost sight of Henry Mortimer 
VOL. I. B 



l8 A DREAMER. 

for the time being, a coldness having sprung 
up between them before the former left Cam- 
bridge. Henry had suddenly assailed him 
with bitter reproaches and accusations not 
wholly undeserved, which had pained Philip 
deeply. Then Henry had turned away from 
him, and Philip had seen him no more. Mr 
Temple wished his son to forget Henry Mor- 
timer, and all other similar persons : Philip 
was not apt to forget 

Oliver Temple, of course, passed through 
his university career highly creditably, and 
took a satisfactory degree. So also did 
Ralph Lindsay, Henry's cousin — I had al- 
most said brother, for they had been brought 
up together from their childhood. Ralph 
Lindsay, whose home was a chilly one, had 
concentrated all the affection and protectlve- 
ness of his nature on Henry, and he mourned 
over him now. His acquaintance with Philip 
was slight, though they had been specially 
commended to one another by their respec- 
tive fathers, old friends themselves. Ralph 



PRELIMINARY. 19 

Lindsay had avoided Philip, for the praise- 
worthy reason that he was fascinated by 
him. 

These four contemporaries left Cambridge 
in the course of the same year, and they all 
started to travel through the world on dif- 
ferent roads. Unquestionably Oliver Temple 
made the fairest start : he was universally 
commended ; he was clever, handsome, and 
sufficiently rich, Henry disappeared from 
civilised society ; '' he was following in his 
father's footsteps," said the world. Ralph 
Lindsay was not brilliant, nor important in 
any way. Somewhat sadly, he acceded to his 
father's wish for him, and went into a mer- 
chant's office in London. 

And Philip Temple ? 

Well, he drew a prize in the lottery of the 
year following. One day there came a letter 
from him to the quiet English parsonage, 
that took the good clergyman's breath away. 
Philip announced that he was going to marry, 
and that the bride-elect was Miss Mortimer, 



20 A DREAMER. 

only child of Mr Mortimer, of Hawkton 
Manor, close to the town where the Tem- 
ples lived, and of Salehurst in the county of 
Kent; who for many years had resided in 
the French capital. 



21 



CHAPTER II. 

It was not in the least strange that Philip 
Temple should fall in love with Agnes Morti- 
mer; every second young man of her acquaint- 
ance may be said to have done the same, 
more or less seriously. Several had reached 
the point of a proposal, for Miss Mortimer 
was encouraging to young men : she was not 
a coquette, but she took a kindly interest in 
their ways and doings. Agnes was a grand, 
dignified creature, whose beauty was rather 
that of a goddess than of a nymph : such a 
woman is sure to number among her ad- 
mirers some very young men, for boys are 
easily attracted by what is superior and ap- 
parently unattainable. Your first love is very 
often older than you are yourself; often be- 
longs to a sphere above your own — is dropped 



22 A DREAMER. 

from the skies, you think. When you find 
this heavenly creature invites homage not 
entirely transcendental in its character ; reads 
your favourite books, sings your favourite 
songs, shares all your " noblest aspirations " 
and " poetic visions ; " but sheds by the light 
of her diviner soul an ethereal glow over 
everything, book, song, poem, thought, ay, 
even over your foolish young self; — then 
naturally you lose your head altogether ; 
and deeming yourself some strangely-blessed 
favourite of heaven, you have the presump- 
tion to think of winning this glorious being. 
You fling yourself, your possessions, your 
soul and body, at her feet; and are recalled 
to daylight and reality by a refusal — non 
sans phrases. 

Why did not Philip Temple, who was 
young and poor and unsuccessful, and, it 
must be confessed, somewhat disagreeable, 
meet with this salutary rebuff from Agnes 
Mortimer the goddess ? No one knew — un- 
less it were that she liked him ; but as every 
one knows, that is a very old-fashioned and 



PRELIMINARY. 23 

unsatisfactory reason for accepting a man's 
proposal. People began to think that this 
unamiable, unimportant boy was the prime 
favourite of heaven that each one of them 
had faintly suspected he was himself. They 
even had unjust thoughts about heaven itself: 
if it was determined to select an unlikely 
person, it might much better have chosen 
nie^ who am at least handsome ; or me, who 
am an English peer ; or me, who have 
studied all the dead languages ; or me, who 
have been to the Andaman Islands. It was 
most unaccountable. That obnoxious, con- 
ceited, cross - grained young Temple ! who 
was only a sort of clerk ; who had not even 
a settled profession ; whose father was only 
a parson, and his grandfather only a stupid 
old general, with a tumble - down old house 
in an eastern county, which he was too poor 
to keep in proper repair ; who had done so 
badly at the university ; and who had such 
a very brown complexion — most un-English ; 
and such very unconciliatory manners — most 
un-French. 



24 A DREAMER. 

Mr Temple wrote to his son and expos- 
tulated : he was too young, too unsteady, 
too unsuitable in every way. Philip replied 
that he was coming home for Christmas, and 
he wished his mother to write to Agnes, in- 
viting her to accompany him. What could 
parents do under such circumstances ? And 
the boy had been so wild, — if she were a 
good girl ? if she did him good ? 

But Mr Temple knew the Mortimers by 
report, and misliked them. " Mr Mortimer 
Is an essentially worldly man," he said ; *' and 
his brother, that William Mortimer, father of 
the unhappy young man Phil was connected 

with at Cambridge, Is " he shook his head 

significantly. 

'' But, Arthur," pleaded gentle Mrs Temple, 
''Philip says Mr Mortimer Is not on good terms 
with his brother. I should hope our dear boy 
will not be mixed up with that family at all." 

*' I hope not Indeed," said the clergyman. 
" My dear," he added, presently, '' It Is best 
to do as Phil says. Ask the young lady to 
come and pay us a visit." 



PRELIMINARY. 25 

Mrs Temple sighed. As yet she had rather 
taken her boy's side against his father. Now 
she quailed as she thought of the fashionable 
heiress invading her quiet home. Neverthe- 
less the invitation was written. 

Did Mr Mortimer regard this young Tem- 
ple in a favourable light ? He did not trouble 
himself to regard him in any particular light. 
He was a blasd, indifferent man, who con- 
sidered life a disappointment. He was fond 
of smoking, and spent much time in lying 
on sofas and in collecting china. He knew 
very little of Philip Temple : young people 
did not interest him. Agnes was quite cold 
and sensible enough to look after her own 
interests. Mr Mortimer had never disputed 
a wish of his daughter's in his life, and he 
allowed her to take her own way now. 

So they were betrothed, — Philip Temple, 
who was nobody in particular, and had made 
rather a mess of his life so far ; and Agnes 
Mortimer, the beautiful, rich girl, who was as 
old as he was himself, and who was a little 
condescending to her young lover. Philip, 



26 A DREAMER. 

who had always writhed under patronage 
before, thought her perfection: he was vio- 
lently in love with her, and he did not know 
her very well. The young man bore his good 
fortune with meekness enough. It did not 
alter him materially. At this time he had 
become very industrious and steady. Though 
somewhat old and serious for his age, his 
general mien was more cheerful and propitious 
than it had been a year or two before ; his 
eyes were less cavernous, and his smile was 
more frequent. Agnes liked to make him 
smile, and above all things she liked to make 
him talk. Philip's talk was not quite the 
same as most men's, and it amused Miss 
Mortimer. 

One day Philip, on leaving the presence of 
his bride-elect, encountered two persons. One 
was a shabby-looking man who stared at him 
with considerable amusement as he closed the 
hall -door behind him and walked along the 
sunny street. The second was his cousin 
Oliver, who greeted him with smiles and con- 
gratulations, and annoyed him by the reminder 



PRELIMINARY. 27 

that he had known Miss Mortimer for years. 
Oliver, who always knew everything, told him 
also the name of the shabby man who had 
stared at him a few minutes before. 

'' That is William Mortimer, the squire's 
unfortunate brother," said Oliver. 

Philip flushed suddenly, as was his wont 
when suddenly agitated. He was thinking of 
Henry. 



28 



CHAPTER III. 

" William Mortimer, the squire's unfortunate 
brother/' was living in Paris just at present, 
in rather mean lodgings over a baker's shop. 
He knew a good deal of the ups and downs of 
fortune; and not two months before, his habita- 
tion had been a comparative palace. William 
Mortimer by no means always considered it 
necessary to take apartments proportionate in 
grandeur to the money he had in hand ; he 
thoroughly understood the art of living in 
splendour and letting some one else pay for 
his luxuries. But there were reasons why he 
did not wish to adopt this system at present, 
and he made a great show of humility, calling 
attention to his poverty, and the economy 
necessary to promote his little daughter's pro- 
fessional education. 



PRELIMINARY. 29 

There was no one in the world whom the 
squire detested more than his brother. A 
man who Hved ostensibly by painting bad 
pictures, and really by gambling ; a man who 
Intended his daughter to be a public singer ; 
who wore a greasy coat, and lived over a 
baker's shop, — was not a respectable relation, 
and had no business to come into his pros- 
perous brother's vicinity. Yet Mr Mortimer 
did not completely disown him, and was even 
outwardly civil in speaking to him. Possibly 
it was because of some past scenes in his life 
which he could never forget ; possibly because 
he liked the children, — the gracious, captivat- 
ing Henry, and the pale, pretty child, whom 
Agnes " wished she might send to school." 

This little girl — Henry's step-sister — was 
now thirteen, but small and young for her age. 
Her face was pale and pinched; and her sad, 
unchlldish eyes, in which tears often stood, 
were accustomed to rest with a bewildered, 
questioning gaze on persons and things who 
never answered what she souofht to know. 
Her voice, perfect in its delicacy and musical 



30 A DREAMER. 

ring, was mournful and weary, seldom rising 
into vehemence without a quiver that ended 
in a sob. She was a neglected, tired, lonely 
child, whose guardian angel was never visible 
to herself. As yet life had been all a puzzle 
to her, and she had never known that uncon- 
scious happiness which makes childhood the 
golden age for most of us. 

A gleam of brightness had, however, fallen 
on the child's pathway since she had been in 
Paris. She had seen her cousin Agnes twice, 
and had fallen in love with her with all the 
force of an impulsive nature. And again, 
Philip Temple found her out, and took a 
brotherly interest in her, *'for Henry's sake." 

Whether the child liked him or not I cannot 
say. She was not used to liking people ; but 
it was wonderful to her to know any one who 
regarded her as a little human child, and not 
as a piece of goods being prepared for the 
market. 

'' What a naughty child you are, Griselda ! " 
exclaimed Philip one day, in reply to certain 
observations she had made. It was four 



PRELIMINARY. 3 1 

o'clock on a wintry afternoon : the artist was 
out, and Philip and the child were alone In the 
bare uncomfortable room, In which was no con- 
spicuous object save a piano, now open, with 
some music on Its desk, other sheets being 
scattered over the floor near It. The young 
man leaned carelessly against the window, 
playing with the blind-cord, his foot rubbing 
his large black dog, asleep with nose stretched 
out on his fore-paws. Philip was frowning 
down upon the child, who stood before him, 
her hands clasped behind her, and her head 
thrown back that she might look up in his 
face. She was afraid of him ; but she was 
afraid of so many people 1 She could not 
afford to turn from him on that account. 
Griselda wore a shabby dark frock, and an 
immense enveloping French pinafore of black 
alpaca. Her neck and arms were uncovered, 
and abundant golden hair fell back from her 
forehead and curled loosely over her shoulders. 
There were unshed tears In the large dark 
eyes, and the little mouth trembled. 

" Why do you say I am naughty ? " she' 



32 A DREAMER. 

cried. '' I didn't mean any harm. I only 
want to do what I Hke when I am grown 
up." 

"It Is not right to do what we Hke, If we 
Hke wrong things," said PhlHp, with great 
severity. 

'' I don't Hke wronof things." 

PhiHp looked very stern, and the child 
began to cry. 

" I don't always know what Is bad. How 
can I ? Papa doesn't care whether things are 
wrong or not, and no one teaches me, or cares 
whether I am good or not. You shouldn't be 
so angry. I will mind what you say, if you 
will be kind." 

Philip said nothing. The conversation was 
a new experience to him. 

*' Won't you forgive me ? " said Griselda 
presently, creeping a little closer. 

''You haven't done me any harm." 

*' But I'm very sorry. Who have I done 
harm to?" 

*' Only yourself so far." Philip's thoughts 
had flown into regions quite beyond poor 



PRELIMINARY. 33 

Griselda's comprehension, and he puzzled 
her. 

'* I want some one to forgive me. I won't 
do it again ever," she said, not quite knowing 
what she meant. 

PhiHp did not reply. He was revolving 
something in his own mind. He was young 
and impulsive : the pendulum of his nature 
having rebounded from the quarter to which 
his short course of recklessness had swungr 
him, he was now more demonstrably virtuous 
than was exactly natural to him. 

" Look here, Griselda," he said, catching 
hold of her arm roughly, for his own strong 
feelings made him harsh ; " when you are 
grown up you will harm others beside yourself 
People are bad enough ; you will take them 
by the hand and make them worse." 

" I won't make people worse." 

" You will, unless you are good yourself 
You don't know what influence women like 
you have." 

*' I mean to be very good always," cried 
Griselda : " I have always meant that. Only 

VOL. I. C 



K 



34 A DREAMER. 

I can't," she added, wearily ; " I don't know 
what Is good and what is bad, and I have no 
one to tell me. I shan't see you and Cousin 
Agnes much oftener. What must I do ? " 

" Yes," said Philip ; " Agnes is one of the 
women who make people better." 

'' What must I do ? " said Griselda, not 
heeding him. 

Philip was silent. To be a moral teacher 
was a new role to him, and he had a vague 
notion that he ought to speak of religion to 
her ; but the consciousness that he had no 
religion to speak about checked him. Philip 
had been brought up in an atmosphere where 
religion was the most prominent thing, and 
as yet he had an uncomfortable feeling that 
morality was guilty if divorced from religion. 
He knew his father's beliefs and phrases by 
heart, and could have reproduced them for 
Griselda's benefit with no difficulty. But he 
kept silence. 

" W^hy don't you tell me ? " said Griselda, 
clenching her hands. '' You are wise and 
good, I suppose, and know what to do. You 



PRELIMINARY. 35 

have had people to teach you. What would 
you do if you were a little girl, and had 
nobody, and were always being told to do 
wrong things, and were going to be an 
actress ? " 

" It is too hard to imagine so many things," 
said Philip, smiling. 

" Don't laugh, please. I mean it. I can't 
think how you can laugh when I care so much. 
What would you do ? " 

'' I didn't mean to laugh, Griselda. I care 
too, very much." 

" But what would you do ? " 

" You must try always to do the good things 
you do know about," said Philip, awkwardly. 

" I know that. I always do. That doesn't 
tell me about the rest. How must I find out?" 

" You might — read books," said Philip, 
hesitating, and feeling that he was giving her 
very meagre advice. 

" But all books aren't good." 

'' No." 

" Then what good are books ? I might 
read the wrong ones." 



36 A DREAMER. 

" No," said Philip ; " if you found a book 
was bad, you would not go on reading it." 

Griselda sighed impatiently. " I think you 
are stupid," she said. ** Don't you see, / 
shouldnt know if a book was bad." 

** Yes, you would," answered Philip, gaining 
more confidence ; '' and each book you read, 
you will know better. You haven't read a 
great many books, have you ? " 

" No, only plays. Papa makes me learn 
great pieces by heart. I am learning some 
now,'' and she glanced at a book lying face 
downwards on a chair ; *' and oh," she went on 
suddenly, " it is not a good book ! I hate It ! " 

Philip took it up, but the child snatched it 
from his hands. 

" I won't learn It ! " she cried. " Look here," 
and she tore it down the back, her cheeks 
flaming scarlet. 

Philip laid his hand on her shoulder. 
*' Won't your father be angry ? " 

" I don't care. I won't learn It ! " and she 
flung the window open and hurled the torn 
leaves into the street. Philip watched her, 



PRELIMINARY. 37 

till the glow had left her cheek and the fire 
had faded from her eyes. She sat down by 
the window, pale and quiet now. Suddenly 
she sprang to her feet, her hands clasped and 
her little frame trembling. '' Here he is com- 
ing !" she cried; " what shall I do ? He will 
be so angry ! He beat me once for spoiling 
his books and for not learning my lessons. 
He has often beaten me. What shall I do ?" 
Griselda came over and looked up at Philip 
beseechingly, laying her hand on his arm. 
" Will you say your big dog tore it up, or 
that it fell out of the window of itself? He 
will be so angry ! " 

Philip said nothing. He put his arm round 
the child and drew her to him. 

" You think that would be like a coward ? 
But you don't know how angry he will be ! " 

" I should speak the truth, I think, Griselda," 
said Philip, as lightly as he could, but feeling 
very much inclined to cry. She struggled from 
his arms, and sat down at a little distance 
watching him gravely. Mr Mortimer's step 
was heard upon the stairs. " I won't let him 



33 A DREAMER. 

beat you, Grlselda," said Philip ; '' I will give 
you another book for him." 

Mr Mortimer entered. He looked sur- 
prised to see Philip Temple, but greeted him 
with great cordiality. Griselda interrupted 
vehemently. " Papa, I have thrown it away ! 
I won't learn a word of it. It is wicked. Mr 
Temple says so. I tore it up and threw it 
away. There ! But he's going to give you 
another." 

*' I don't want another," said Mr Mortimer, 
deprecatingly. '' You must learn to be quiet, 
Griselda, and do as you are bid. I never give 
you anything wicked to learn. Pick up your 
music, child, and put it away tidily. You 
came to see my picture, sir ? " 

" I came to see Griselda," said Philip, 
bluntly. 

'' And very glad of a friend she is. I am 
sorry to say I am often obliged to leave her 
alone. Poverty is a hard master, and if we had 
our rights, my little girl would not be eating 
her bread without butter, while her cousin "— 
here Mr Mortimer recollected Philip's relation 



PRELIMINARY. 39 

to the cousin, and concluded dramatically, — 
" but I blame no one. Doubtless all is desio^ned 
by Providence for our good. You know the 
door of my studio, Mr Temple, if you have 
any commands for me," and he vanished. 

" Good-bye, Griselda," said Philip ; " he will 
not beat you this time, I think." 

'' Perhaps not, " said the child, wearily. 
" Please don't go yet. You promised I should 
sing to you to-day. You have never heard me 
sing." 

" Well, one song, little one, if you like ; but 
you must be quick. I can't stay long." Philip 
took out his watch and shook his head over it 
suggestively. 

" I can sing better than I can play,'' said the 
child ; " but I generally would rather play. If 
I am quite alone I like singing best ; but when 
people are listening it is too — too " 

*' Personal," suggested Philip, smiling. 

*' I don't know if that is it. Perhaps it is. I 
like — I love singing to myself. Only the words 
of nearly all songs are stupid, and put one out. 
But I will sing you a pretty one now." 



40 A DREAMER. 

She swept the music from the desk of the 
piano to the ground, and perched herself on 
the high music-stool. For a moment she sat 
with her hands clasped and her eyes turned 
upward. She may have been choosing a fa- 
vourite song — checking a rising sob — invoking 
inspiration, — anything. Philip stepped nearer. 
He had allowed the song chiefly to please her, 
for he really wished to be going ; but now his 
interest rose. She struck the few notes of the 
introduction softly, lovingly : it was a little 
evening song, and the child was a born mu- 
sician. Not a note jarred or startled. She 
began to sing. Her voice was childish and 
slender, but perfect in its way, filling the room 
with sweetness. The full German words drop- 
ped from her lips soft and round as pearls : — 

" Ueber alien Gipfeln ist Ruh, 
In alien Wipfeln spiirest Du, 
Kaum einen Hauch, 

Die Vogelein schweigen — schweigen im Walde. 
Warte nur — warte nur. Balde. 
Ruhest Du auch." 

Philip was taken by surprise and bewildered. 



PRELIMINARY. 41 

He fell Into a dream, forgetting the little mu- 
sician till she stopped lingeringly, and then 
wheeled round on the music-stool and looked 
up in his face. 

'' That is a very beautiful song, Griselda," 
said Philip, collecting himself. She flushed 
with pleasure. 

" I like singing to you. You are fond of 
music, I think. Most people say, ' How well 
you sing ! ' or ' What a nice voice you have ! ' 
and they don't care about the music a bit." 

" Now sing to me again, Griselda." She 
shook her head. 

'* No : you looked at your watch ; you said 
you were in a hurry ; you said, only one. 
Where are you going ? To see Agnes ? " 

'' Yes," said Philip, remembering and smiling. 

The quick tears sprang to Griselda's eyes. 

'* I wish I might go too. I wish Agnes 
cared about me." 

''She does, Griselda." 

" No, not like that. You and Agnes are 
people In a different world from mine. I like 
thinking about you," she added, enviously. 



42 A DREAMER. 

" It is all the same world, Grlselda. When 
we are married, Agnes and I, you shall come 
and stay with us, and prove that we are all in 
the same world." 

*' I don't think papa will let me," she an- 
swered, sadly. 

Philip went down the stairs, the refrain of 
the child's song ringing through his ears. At 
the door he lingered, hearing little pattering 
footsteps running after him. 

" Please wait one minute," said Griselda. 
" You said I must get some books. Tell me 
some good ones." 

Philip paused and looked down on the little 
eager face, slowly recalling the conversation 
about the books, and racking his brains to 
think of one suitable to her. She waited with 
the air of patient confidence that, in a child, Is 
sometimes so embarrassing and yet so touching. 

'' I can't think of anything, Grlselda," said 
Philip, abruptly ; " you must choose for yourself. 
Go to a good bookseller's shop." He turned 
away, fearing she would insist ; but seeing 
clearly enough the disappointment that spread 



PRELIMINARY. 43 

over the pale childish face. " Thank heaven 
I am not a curate," said Philip to himself. " I 
am not able to give advice in the simplest 
form. How the child puzzled me with her 
questions ! Yet I told her right about the 
books. She will judge better than I. Mybest 
advisers and most sympathetic friends never 
yet gave me a book for my edification, that I 
saw anything in it. Next day I will avoid 
these deep morals with her." 



44 



CHAPTER IV. 

Christmas -TIME brought Philip back to his 
English home. He found his parents still in- 
clined to treat him as a black sheep. They took 
great pains to be cheerful and affectionate : but 
he detected the disguise ; mentally supplied the 
moral to every remark addressed to him ; and 
had a disagreeable consciousness, whenever he 
observed them deeply engaged in conversation, 
that he himself was the subject. The young 
man had come home with a laudable desire to 
please, and to prove to his parents that he had 
turned over a new leaf. As far as action went 
he succeeded in satisfying them well enough. 
But he allowed himself a freedom in conver- 
sation that distressed them exceedingly. He 
made sallies against all his father's favourite 
doctrines, ran full tilt against his mother's pre- 



PRELIMINARY. 45 

judlces ; donned the oddest armour, mounted 
the strangest Roslnantes, and proceeded, like 
Don Quixote, to demolish windmills, and to 
iieht for those who were well content with 
existing arrangements. He got up arguments 
apparently for the sole sake of arguing ; quoted 
the most heterodox authorities, and advanced 
the most preposterous theories. Mr Temple 
shook his head, bewildered and impatient ; 
Mrs Temple was thoroughly alarmed. Philip 
had never talked so much In his life before ; 
she began to wish he would keep silence. He 
had a faculty for getting up a sort of spurious 
interest in any subject: soap-bubbles; the 
cleaning of knives ; the inhabitants of Guate- 
mala ; the reign of reason ; the cooking of 
herrings ; the progress of art. He would form 
a theory in a twinkling, and proceed to draw 
out its consequences, and the Inferences there- 
from, in a manner that would startle you. He 
would bewilder you with questions the most 
simple and the most intricate, and he would 
finally wander off Into a fairyland of fancy and 
nonsense whither you would be hard set to 



46 A DREAMER. 

find the way, even if you wished to follow him. 
He was generally voted a bore, especially by 
the person to whom his conversation was ad- 
dressed ; but there were one or two people who 
were tickled by his grave face, earnest manner, 
and foolish observations. Amongst these was 
his grandfather. General Temple, a facetious, 
somewhat blundering old gentleman, consid- 
ered worldly by his son and Mrs Temple. 
He had a great fancy for Philip, who had de- 
spised the old man in his early youth, but who, 
since his own making of blunders had begun, 
cherished for him a more sympathetic and 
kindly feeling. 

With the beginning of January came Agnes 
Mortimer. Every one was charmed by her, 
for she possessed the secret of easy and adap- 
tive manners, taking such pains to suit herself 
to her companions, that she never appeared 
affected or unnatural. Philip found himself 
quite restored to favour after Agnes had been 
two or three days in the house ; the moon 
receives much admiration by reason of the 
reflected light from the sun. Mr Temple was 



PRELIMINARY. 47 

quite ready to acquiesce when Philip suggested 
that it was well he had not been too much hur- 
ried in the choice of a profession. Politics 
were the most appropriate study for a man of 
fortune — even a man whose fortune came from 
his wife ; though, indeed, if anything were to 
happen poor Mr Mortimer, so that his estates 
passed at once to his daughter and son-in-law, 
Philip would have quite enough to do in 
managing all that property. It was an ex- 
ploded notion that a country gentleman need 
be a mere fox-hunting, game -preserving do- 
nothing. And from what he heard, he fancied 
the Salehurst property had been much ne- 
Q^lected. Mr Mortimer had said something 
about letting them take up their domicile there 
at once. 

Mr Temple was of opinion that change 
should begin very gradually : the mere pre- 
sence of a resident landlord (or his heir) who 
was interested in the estate would be a source 
of benefit to the place without making any 
revolutions. He hoped Philip would be care- 
ful against imbibing new-fangled notions as to 



48 A DREAMER. 

the management of property. The rising gen- 
eration was too fond of sensationalism, and a 
great many of those plausible theories eman- 
ated from the Socialists and other dangerous 
persons. Philip was preparing to rush into 
the lists in defence of Socialism, when Mrs 
Temple interrupted with the hope that there 
was a good clergyman of the right school at 
Salehurst. This made a diversion, and the 
Socialists were forgotten. 

Agnes liked these earnest family conver- 
sations. In her chill, stately home she had 
heard nothing of the kind. All her life she 
had merely played at caring; and those sur- 
rounding her, her father more especially, had 
not even done so much in the interest of 
enthusiasm. These people cared about every- 
thing, from the conversion of the heathen to 
bonnets and cardboard. Agnes was pleased 
with Mr and Mrs Temple, and they were 
delighted with her. 

And as I hinted before, Agnes liked Philip 
very much, and let him talk to her as much as 
he pleased. And how Philip talked ! 



PRELIMINARY. 49 

One day — Mr Temple was busy with his 
Sunday-school teachers, Mrs Temple was hold- 
ing a meeting of the clothing club at the other 
end of the parish — Agnes strolled into the 
garden and found Philip with his coat off, dig- 
ging up the flower-beds. 

'' What's this for ? " said Agnes. 

Philip paused, — not unwillingly, perhaps, for 
it was a clay soil, and only those who have dug 
in such, know the labour of a gardener. " Ima- 
gine that I am Adam," said he ; " you are come 
out to be Eve. Then it follows that this is 
the Garden of Eden." 

" Was that your idea when you began ? " 

'* I have just evolved it on your arrival." 

" Then what was the motive ? " 

" Oh, to give Rogers a holiday. He is 
learning Latin — would you believe it ? — and 
wants an extra hour for his grammar. So I 
have laid hold of the spade." 

'* Rogers learning Latin seems nearly as 
unnecessary as you digging." 

" Unnecessary ? Not at all. Why shouldn't 
he learn Latin as well as I ? Because he has 

VOL. I. D 



50 A DREAMER. 

to dig. But if I dig, who suffers ? No 
one." 

" The garden, I should fancy. Look, you 
have broken that carnation." 

'' Oh, a dead old thing. A clod fell on it." 

" It is not dead, unless you have killed it. 
Rogers would have guided the clod better." 

" Ah, well, it is because I haven't practised. 
I shall improve as I go on ; just as Rogers 
will improve in his declensions." 

*' What is the theory ? " 

'' That a man should help his fellows more, 
and no one be tied to one thing exclusively. 
Why shouldn't Rogers have a bit of learning ? 
I daresay he is as much interested in Roman 
history and geology as I am. And why 
shouldn't I dig ? It is as good exercise as 
walking to St Martin's Hill with a cigar in my 
mouth." 

" I thought division of labour was a first 
principle of political economy." 

*' Yes ; I divide the digging with Rogers." 

" Nonsense ! You divide the digging and 
the Latin." 



PRELIMINARY. 5 1 

" Of course ; on the whole. But one can't 
work all day. I don't. Why should Rogers ?" 

^' I daresay he doesn't either. He goes to 
his club in the evenings." 

" I hope so. If so, my principles are be- 
o-inninof to work." 

'* People get a great deal of harm in those 
clubs (so your mother says). They drink, and 
hear sedition." 

'' My mother knows nothing about it. If 
they do, what then ? It shows my principles 
have not worked enouorh. The men haven't 
had time to learn anything that would coun- 
teract the drink and the sedition. Sedition ! 
Humbug!" 

'* I believe you would defend any side in 
an argument. I daresay you would undertake 
to prove that black was white," said Agnes, 
laughing. 

''It might be done, no doubt. White often 
seems black. Did you never look at the sun ? 
It is commonly supposed to be white. But if 
you stare up at it, you will only see a round 
black spot." 

LIBRARY 



52 A DREAMER. 

*' That is an optical delusion." 

" Colour is always a delusion. It does not 
reside in the object; it is not even in your 
eyes. It is in the very inside of you, in the 
innermost soul of your brain. If the sun looks 
black, it is black to you. There is no more a 
quality of whiteness in the sun than there is of 
brownness in this clay." 

*' But if the clay is always brown, it seems 
to me there is a distinct brownness in it." 

" Not at all. You see it brown. How do 
you know I do ? I call it brown, of course ; 
but my brown may be your blue. You never 
can prove that we mean the same by our 
words. When you play the piano it strikes 
me as a charming noise ; it may affect you as 
a glorious smell. Everything may be topsy- 
turvy. We may never mean the same thing 
when we use the same words. Oh, I should 
like to be somebody else for a while to learn 
about that sort of thing ! To get into the very 
innermost self of somebody for two hours — 
to see with his eyes and hear with his ears ; 
it would explain so many things : perhaps I 



PRELIMINARY. 53 

should understand why some people like dan- 
delions, and pigs, and Jews ; perhaps I should 
understand what you see in me that is likeable. 
Agnes, perhaps all people are really alike, — 
think the same thoughts, like the same things ; 
only a confusion — that of Babel, perhaps — has 
entered into their language and senses, so that 
they seem to be different. I have always 
wondered, for instance, what my mother ad- 
mires in Miss Lilias Robertson ; but if she 
sees on her the face I see on you, it is ex- 
plained. We both like the same thing." 

Agnes laughed. " Go on.'* 

" Perhaps, besides a universal similarity in 
the groundwork of our natures, there is an 
utter dissimilarity in our senses. What I call 
seeing may be unknown to you, while the out- 
side world affects you in some utterly different 
manner, as different as hearing, but which is 
not hearing, nor smelling, nor feeling, nor any 
other sense of which I have any conception. 
Perhaps no two persons have the same sense. 
Why should they ♦have ? The Creator of the 
world seems to have had an endless variety of 



54 A DREAMER. 

patterns. You never saw two faces Identically 
the same, did you ? Why should our senses, 
our sensations, be identically the same ? " 

*' But we all have two eyes, a nose, and a 
mouth." 

*' Yes ; and we all say, ' It is clear this 
morning ; I can see far away over the sea to 
the islands beyond.' " Philip shaded his eyes 
as he spoke, and gazed with so much earnest- 
ness on the garden -wall, behind which rose 
dull streets and a flat uninteresting country, 
that Agnes started and turned, almost fancying 
for a minute that she could really reach the 
ocean with her gaze. 

'' You queer creature ! What next ? " 

'' We shall get to another world some day, 
and learn a new language. The confusion 
will be gone, and we shall explain to one an- 
other what we really meant. I will tell you 
what I meant when I saw you — what it was 
to me when that child Griselda sang. She 
will say what she meant by hearing. Raphael 
will tell us what he meant b^ seeing, and then 
we shall understand why he painted better 



PRELIMINARY. 55 

than Perugino. Some people's method of 
seeing will seem hardly worth describing ; but 
when we know what it was, we shall under- 
stand their not caring for the Alps and the 
curl on the edo^e of a bio- wave. We shan't 
venture to think anybody stupid then ; we 
shall say, ' Poor man, his sense was deficient.' " 

*' Will it apply to everything ? Will wick- 
edness be explained too ? " 

'* Of course. I see that a He Is a very ugly 
thing. You don't, we w^ill suppose. Natu- 
rally you tell lies. I can't understand it now, 
but you will explain it all then. The origin of 
evil won't puzzle us then, for we shall see 
there was no such thing." 

'' I suspect there is a flaw in the argument 
there." 

*' We are not arguing ; we are only saying 
* Perhaps.' When the apostles spoke with 
other tongues — I don't believe they did, not 
for a moment ; but they may have done it for 
all that — perhaps then they were talking this 
new language. Nobody understood them, for 
it was before the time. They scarcely under- 



56 A DREAMER. 

Stood themselves. They couldn't explain it — 
they could only speak of It vaguely : ' Other 
tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.' 
Paul knew something about it when he was 
caught up into the third heaven, and heard 
unspeakable things not lawful for a man to 
utter, — whether in the body or out of the body, 
he could not tell. We have all had visions of 
it, in vague Intangible moments, gone before 
we could catch them, and leaving not a trace 
behind." 

" I wonder how much you believe of all 
this." 

'' Believe ! Nothing. It is a speculation, 
a fancy intangible as the premonitions of the 
new language. Go away, if you please, and 
leave me to my digging. Rogers ought to be 
back, but I am afraid he is finishing his Latin 
in the public-house. He has some traditions 
of the old school clinging about him still/' 



57 



CHAPTER V. 

Ppiilip was passing through London on his 
way back to Paris. Walking along a quiet 
street, he was followed by two persons whose 
pace corresponded to his own, and whose con- 
versation he could not avoid hearing. The 
subject of their talk was familiar to him, and 
presently he recognised the voice of the more 
silent of the two. It was Ralph Lindsay. 
Philip's first impulse was to quicken his steps 
and avoid his old acquaintance, for he neither 
knew the young man well nor cared much 
about him. He had a vague notion that 
Ralph was an Oliver less strongly dyed — 
another model of sense and behaviour, less 
obnoxious, because more stupid. But the 
conversation was of Henry Mortimer : the 
man with the unfamiliar voice seemed anxious 



58 A DREAMER. 

to do him a favour of some sort, and wanted 
to find him. Ralph did not appear to know 
where he was ; and PhiHp, who had acciden- 
tally become possessed of the desired informa- 
tion, thought he saw the opportunity for doing 
his old companion a good turn — for Philip had 
heard nothing of Henry for a long time, and 
had no idea that he was " wanted " on a charge 
of forgery. Last night, however, they had 
met in a back street in Clerkenwell, whither 
Philip had wandered on an impracticable 
errand, in its nature half charitable and half 
inquisitive. London is said to be your best 
place if you want to hide; and Henry had 
taken pains to disguise himself But his was 
a face and figure not easily disguised, and 
Philip recognised him. Henry did not seem 
anxious to talk. On being taxed with his 
appearance, he said something about a bet; 
and then, hastily scribbling an address on a 
scrap of paper, he thrust it into Philip's hand, 
saying, " Look me up there to-morrow even- 
ing between eleven and twelve, and bring me 
^5, if you have it to spare, like a good fellow." 



PRELIMINARY. ' 59 

He vanished, not waiting for Philip's ex- 
planation that he would be on board the 
Calais boat to - morrow at eleven o'clock. 
Henry's disreputable appearance had raised 
feelings of vexation as well as curiosity in 
Philip's mind. He felt ashamed of his old 
companion, and not particularly anxious to see 
him again just at present. But by degrees a 
sense of pity rose in his heart, and he began 
to be sorry that he must needs disappoint 
him. 

"He looked awfully seedy," said Philip to 
himself next day, thinking of his own respect- 
able appearance, and feeling half jealous of 
himself for Henry's sake; ** and he is her 
cousin, too. I don't agree with her that we 
are to cast them all off as much as possible. 
Henry belongs to me somehow, I think. I 
must write to him. Wish I could have 
manao^ed to meet him to-nlo^ht." 

So Philip reflected ; and half an hour after- 
wards he met Ralph Lindsay and his unknown 
companion. He stopped and accosted them. 

Henry's wild, hungry eyes had been haunt- 



6o A DREAMER. 

ing Philip all the morning ; and now here were 
hungry eyes again — yearning, sorrowful eyes, 
full of grief and apprehension. Philip had 
never marked Ralph's face much before. It 
was an ordinary face enough, with features of 
no particular type, and a brow not especially 
intellectual or lofty, but candid and trust- 
inspiring; a mouth that spoke of gentleness 
and steadfastness, and then — grey, hungry 
eyes. 

Perhaps Philip was more susceptible to in- 
definable impressions than are most men. As 
he took Ralph's hand and met the look in his 
eyes, he felt a thrill run through his frame, 
that made Ralph a person of importance in 
his sight from henceforth. So far he had 
despised him. He had stopped him now 
with the half-formed intention of using him 
to settle that matter of his with Henry. But 
the yearning eyes altered his tone of thought 
at once, and he stood before Ralph silent and 
ashamed. He felt guilty before him ; he felt 
that he owed him a debt which perhaps he 
could never repay; he felt that, in some in- 



PRELIMINARY. 6l 

explicable manner, his lot was mingled with 
Ralph's, and that Ralph had the right to the 
highest place. It was all a dim, undefined, 
incomprehensible sensation or revelation, but 
it robbed him of speech ; and he stood before 
Ralph holding his hand forgetfully, with his 
eyes cast down, and an unwonted flush on his 
brown and healthy cheek. 

Ralph, too, was silent. His thoughts were 
far other than Philip's. He was not thinking 
of him in connection with himself, but in con- 
nection with Henry. He had no idea how 
much Philip knew, nor how much he cared. 
His one desire was to keep him and the man 
beside him apart. A short conversation fol- 
lowed, of the vague sort that people hold when 
their thoughts are far away, and then they 
parted. Thinking it over afterwards In the 
light of subsequent events, neither Philip nor 
Ralph could remember what had been said, 
nor whether the third man had contributed 
aught to the few disjointed sentences. Philip 
went on his way, haunted by two wild blue 
eyes that had once been his delight for the 



62 A DREAMER. 

Ideal youth and beauty that had shone from 
them ; and by a yearning grey pair that spoke 
to him with an appealingness still more ter- 
rible, because he did not so well understand 
their language. 

Steps followed him rapidly, and presently 
he was stopped by the stranger. He slowly 
brought back his thoughts to the actual from 
the dreaming, spirit-haunted world Into which 
they had wandered. 

" You don't remember me, Mr Temple ? '' 

^* No," said Philip, abstractedly; ''I don't." 

''I had the ferry at Black's Bend — I and 
old Mr Jenkins." 

" Ah yes. I remember Jenkins. You were 
his partner then, I suppose ; a mysterious 
personage we never saw — supposed to be a 
myth." 

The man laughed. '' Not much of a myth. 
I remember you young gentlemen well enough, 
and the larks you kept up. Mr Lindsay, now 
— he was one of the quiet ones." 

^'Well?" 

" And you and Mr Mortimer wasn't so 



PRELIMINARY. 63 

quiet as some — eh, sir ? I wonder now if you 
can tell me where Mr Mortimer is. I've a 
fancy to see him. He lent me some money 
once, he did, and I've heard say he isn't so 
flush now as he might be ; and though he 
said he never wished to hear more of it, 
I'd be glad to get the debt off my mind. 
A pleasant-spoken young gentleman was Mr 
Mortimer." 

Philip stopped in his walk, and leaning 
back against the railings at the side of the 
pavement, surveyed his companion. He be- 
gan to recollect him now — a dumpy, respect- 
able man, apt to make himself useful about 
the boats. Philip had been great on the 
river in his Cambridge days. This man was 
the very person he wanted, to meet Henry 
for him to - night, and convey a message to 
him. 

'' Do you know what Mr Mortimer is doing 
now ? " said Philip, to gain a little time for 
thought. 

" Well, sir, I know this much, that Mr 
Mortimer hasn't — well, as good a coat to 



64 A DREAMER. 

his back as you have. Td help him If I 
could. He did me more than one good turn 
In his day, sir, and maybe It's my day now. 
I had a tidy bit of fortune left me lately by 
my brother In New Zealand, and old Jenkins 
Is dead and has left me the business. It's a 
good business In Its way." The man looked 
very respectable as he spoke, and fingered 
his new chimney-pot hat with conscious satis- 
faction. 

*' Well, look here," said Philip, presently ; 
" Mr Mortimer asked me to meet him to- 
night, and I find I can't possibly do any- 
thing of the kind. I shall be greatly ob- 
liged If you can see him for me, and explain 
to him that I'm off to Paris at seven o'clock. 
Will you give him this five-pound note from 
me, and tell him I am going to write to 
him at once, sending him some more money 
— I — owe him ? " said Philip, awkwardly. 
*' Here's the address he gave me, and he 
suggested eleven o'clock to - night. I have 
written my direction on the back : you may 
as well give It to him." 



PRELIMINARY. 6$ 

" Very good, sir ; you may be sure I'll give 
it him right. I'll write and let you know if I 
see him. Good day, sir." 

The man disappeared rapidly. " That's a 
lucky meeting," said Philip to himself, and 
thought of Henry more comfortably. 

That night Henry Mortimer was arrested at 
half-past eleven o'clock. The story of Philip's 
interview with Mr Jenkins's partner reached 
him with Philip's bank-note honestly delivered. 
*' Traitor ! " he exclaimed ; and Ralph, hearing 
the story later, echoed the word. Philip was 
serenely unconscious — on board the Calais 
packet. 

Agnes had not yet returned to Paris, and 
her young lover felt the bright city desolate 
without her. Letters are a poor substitute for 
a voice and a presence. Philip was lonely, 
and for some unknown reason sad. Henry 
and Ralph haunted him in his dreams, and 
at times he felt an achlnof sense of dissatis- 
faction, whether with the present or the future 
he could not tell. There was a tendency to 
morbidness in Philip's nature, enough to have 

VOL. I. E 



66 A DREAMER. 

made him careful had he suspected Its pres- 
ence ; but morbidness is not easily distinguish- 
able from sensitiveness, — a good quality in 
human nature, and one not to be lightly 
checked. 

One day Philip, wandering aimlessly through 
the streets, remembered little Griselda, and 
made his way to her lonely dwelling. The 
child sprang to meet him. 

"I've bought some books," said she, proudly. 
" Will these do ? I got so puzzled in the shop, 
because the man seemed in a great hurry, and 
I had no idea what I wanted." 

Philip turned them over, amused at the col- 
lection. There was a German translation of 
Plato's ' Republic ; ' a volume of the * Specta- 
tor ; ' Murray's ' Grammar ; ' Schiller's ' Thirty 
Years' War;' and a treatise on Communism 
by a French theorist. 

" Are they nice ? " said Griselda. " Will 
they do ? " 

''Yes, I suppose so," said Philip, slowly. 
" Are they a litde dry, do you think ? " and 
he produced, not without a certain feeling of 



PRELIMINARY. 6y 

shame, a volume of fairy tales he had pur- 
chased for her on his way. 

" I like this sort of book," said Griselda, 
when he had made her understand that it was 
a present, and she had nearly cried with pleas- 
ure : ** I might have bought one in the shop, 
but I thought it wouldn't be instructive." 

" Instructive, you little goose ! The best 
way of instructing yourself is by reading what- 
ever you like best." 

Griselda gazed at him with widely-opened 
eyes. At last she shook her head. '' That 
isn't what you said before at all," she ob- 
served, gravely. 

" It is quite sensible though," said Philip. 
" If I didn't say it before, it was because I was 
trying to do you good — a great mistake on 
my part. Now I am going to say what I 
think, without minding if I do you good or 
not. One never learns anything by being 
done good to, or by trying to do good to 
one's self. One must be thoroughly natural, 
and do whatever one likes best ; unless one 
likes something evidently wrong. Don't look 



6S A DREAMER. 

at me like that, child, as if I were the Pope, 
and must speak the truth ; " for the great eyes 
were fixed on him again with their question- 
ing, confiding gaze. Griselda sat down quietly. 

" I think you are a very odd person," she 
said, " and I don't believe you mean what you 
say." Philip laughed. 

*' Yes I do, Griselda ; but it would take too 
long to explain it to you. You mustn't want 
me to instruct you. I am not at all suitable 
for a teacher." 

" But I must ask you things. There is no 
one else. Don't you ever get eaten up by a 
question ? " 

*' No ; yes, — I don't know. You ask such 
puzzling questions, Griselda. Now let us talk 
of something else." 

Griselda was ready to talk about anything. 

" Do you know, I think you are something 
like Henry," said Philip to her, as he was 
going away. 

" Am I ? But he has beautiful blue eyes, 
not at all like mine. Are you very fond of 
Henry, Mr Temple?" 



PRELIMINARY. 69 

- Very. Why ? " 

" I don't know if I ought to tell you ; you 
might not like it." 

" Yes, Griselda, tell me," said Philip, smiling. 

" Because he is not fond of you. He said 
once he wished he had never seen you. I 
wondered why, but he would not say. Will 
you tell me ? " 

" Not to-day, Griselda. I must say good- 
bye now," said Philip, feeling as if he had 
received a slap in the face from the little 
child before him. 

" Are you angry with me for having told 
you r 

" No, not at all. Let me go, Griselda. I 
am in a hurry. I will tell you more another 
time, perhaps. Good-bye, you little thing ! " 

It was a disagreeable impression to receive 
at parting : the old affection for Henry had 
revived in Philip's heart. 

The weeks passed on. Agnes was home 
again, and Mr Mortimer and his little girl 
were preparing to leave Paris. The day be- 
fore their departure, Agnes sent for her little 



70 A DREAMER. 

cousin, to bid her good-bye. Griselda was 
very quiet and sad. She did not talk much, 
but sat on a low stool gazing up Into Agnes 's 
beautiful face, and occasionally turning her 
head to look at Philip, and smile when he 
tried to amuse her. Then she went away, 
vanishing out of their presence and their 
thoughts — a poor, little, pretty child, so pen- 
sive and lonely ! but out of their reach for 
the present, living a life they could not touch. 
Very likely they might not see her again : 
they were going away from her, on another 
and a smoother pathway through the wide, 
desolate world. 

Philip was sorry for her. Agnes cared little 
after the child was out of her sight. 

But Philip had not yet quite parted from 
Griselda. It was getting late that evening, 
and he was sitting in his own bachelor apart- 
ments busy with his work, when a servant 
came In, saying that a little girl wanted to see 
him. There was a momentary feeling of 
annoyance on Philip's part, and he received 
Griselda kindly but coldly. The child felt 



PRELIMINARY. 7I 

this, and the pain on her Httle face deepened. 
She sat down, saying nothing, with tears roll- 
ing silently down her cheeks. 

'' What is it, little one ?" said Philip, touched, 
and coming over to her side that he might 
play with her long curls. 

She looked up, all her confidence returning. 

" I am come to tell you something," she 
said. " I knew you would care. It is so 
dreadful to be with people who don't care. 
Henry is in prison in England." 

Philip did not speak : he remained standing 
looking down upon her, the curl still in his 
hand. 

'' You will find all about it there," continued 
Griselda, holding out a piece of an English 
newspaper ; " and papa had a letter besides. 
Papa is so terribly angry. Wq are going 
away to-morrow, and I suppose we can't do 
anything. I came to ask if you could do 
something. Can you get him out ? " 

*' No, Griselda," said Philip, in a low voice : 
" when people are put in prison, they can't 
be got out. They must stay their time. 



72 A DREAMER. 

What is it for ? Perhaps Henry did not 
do it." 

'' I don't quite know what it is. Forgery, 
the paper says. What does it mean ? " 

'' That is steaHng, Griselda. Henry could 
not have done that." 

" Ah, but he says he did. He doesn't seem 
to be sorry. Don't you think it is very dread- 
ful ? Papa is very angry. He says Henry 
might have * managed better.' He does not 
care about his doing wrong a bit. Oh, I wish 
somebody cared besides me ! " 

" I daresay Henry does care really, Griselda. 
Let me read this." The date of the young 
man's arrest brought a sickening sense of 
explanation : Henry's disguise; Ralph's anxiety; 
the curiosity of. the man, Mr Jenkins's partner. 
Philip crushed the paper in his hand, and 
stood looking at Griselda. She was standing 
too, looking up at him. It was piteous to see 
the weight of sorrow on the childish, delicate 
face ; but Philip was not heeding Griselda then. 

*' I knew you would care," said the child, 
at length ; '' not only because they have put 



PRELIMINARY. 73 

him in prison. But can't anything be done 
to make papa less angry ? He says he will 
never speak to Henry again, and that he might 
have managed better," she repeated, with in- 
dignant scorn ; " as if that was the part to mind 
about ! But oh," she added, the tears com- 
ing again, " it is too sad to think of him in 
prison ! Can't anything be done ?" 

** No, Griselda. I am afraid not ; now. I 
will help him when he comes out." 

'* Thank you," she said. " I knew you 
would care. I must go back now. I came 
out without leave, and papa will be angry about 
that too." 

Philip walked home with her. The young 
man and the little girl passed through the 
streets silently, till they had reached the dingy 
baker's shop. Then Philip lifted her and 
kissed her forehead. *' I will take care of him, 
Griselda," he said ; " I will set him all right 
when he comes out." 

Philip's first impulse was to go to Agnes, 
and talk it over with her; but he checked him- 
self. He could not talk about it. It was too 



74 A DREAMER. 

keen a sorrow for himself: no one could un- 
derstand, not even Agnes. Perhaps she knew 
it already, and had not told him. Henry was 
her cousin ; but nothing to her, and Philip 
could not expect her to sympathise in the pain 
that was tearing his own heartstrings. Yet he 
would have liked to be with her, to feel her 
pressing his hands, if she would have asked 
no questions. That sort of comforting seemed 
too much to expect in this garrulous world, 
and the pain of explaining was worse than the 
pain of solitude. He could not explain to her 
why he felt himself a partner in Henry's 
crime and punishment. He could hardly 
explain it to himself 



75 



CHAPTER VI. 

Mr Mortimer had been ailing since A^nes's 
return from England : his illness suddenly 
became serious, and the doctors gave no hope 
of his recovery. Philip Temple, himself in 
low spirits, felt quite in sympathy with the 
quiet sadness of his betrothed at this time. 
He delighted in seeing her by her father's 
couch, composed and gentle, thoughtful and 
judicious. Philip had no particular affection 
for Mr Mortimer ; and it did not occur to him 
that a little less composure, a little more evi- 
dence of sorrow, might have been natural in 
a daughter. He never suspected that indiffer- 
ence might be the cause of her quietness. As 
I say, Philip did not know Agnes very well : 
she was hidden in a veil of idealism he had 
thrown over her, and many of the qualities he 



76 A DREAMER. 

thought he saw In her, existed only in himself. 
Indifference was a quality of which Philip 
had no experience, and he naturally failed to 
imagine Its existence in Agnes. He thought 
her general silence was reserve — a thing he 
knew well ; and he supposed her compo- 
sure to come from self-control — a quality he 
admired greatly. Agnes saw his delusions, 
and smiled to herself; but she was well pleased 
that he should keep them. In so far as Agnes 
liked any one, she liked this earnest young 
man, whose eyes flashed and sparkled, even 
when his lips were firmly closed — whose warm 
young hand, with its strong rapid pulse, was 
a contrast to her own cool stately one enclosed 
by it. 

Of late Mr Mortimer had conceived a liking 
for Philip. He was not satisfied without a 
visit from him every day. His eyes were 
used to rest on him with satisfaction and con- 
fidence, and often it seemed on his tongue to 
say something of more importance than the 
daily chit-chat which Philip fancied was all 
they could have In common. At length his 



PRELIMINARY. 77 

Strength seemed fairly exhausted, and the doc- 
tors talked of hours instead of days. 

It was three o'clock, and Agnes sat alone 
by her father's side. He had spoken long and 
earnestly to her that day. 

" You will do it, Agnes ? Remember it is 
my last dying wish. I slighted my father's 
dying wish, and it has thrown a curse over 
my life. If I had a week more — two days 
of health — I would do it myself It is im- 
possible. I have delayed too long. I can 
but leave it to you." 

" Yes, father," said Agnes, in her clear, 
measured voice. 

*' You promise me ? " he insisted, as if he 
scarcely trusted her. " You will see that 
justice is done ? " 
. " Yes," repeated Agnes. 

*' Take a pen and write down what I have 
told you." 

" I know all you said." 

" Write it down, Agnes : then there can be 
no mistake. Now, child — now. Write it in 
my name, and I will sign it." 



JS A DREAMER. 

Agnes wrote silently. 

" Let me see, Agnes. Yes, that will do. 
Put at the end, ' I wish It found and acted 
upon at once.' Then I will sign It." 

Agnes obeyed unwillingly. 

'' Where Is young Temple } I wish to see 
him about It. Have you sent for him, Agnes ?" 

'' Philip may feel himself aggrieved, papa. 
You had better let me explain it to him 
quietly." 

*' Nonsense ! Send for him at once. I am 
pretty sure what his feeling will be." 

'' It will not be so easily done as you think." 

" Found, do you mean ? Easily done ? 
When I have told you all ? " 

*' No ; I do not mean the finding. I mean 
the obeying." 

" Temple will manage It. It Is a work that 
will just suit him. If he swears at me, I can't 
help It. A lifelong misery Is worse than any 
amount of abuse. If you saw things as I do, 
Agnes, you would wish to be spared what I 
have suffered. There has been a curse on us 
all," he said again. 



PRELIMINARY. 79 

" I do not see it, father. They have pros- 
pered less than we." 

The dying man started up. " But you will 
do it, Agnes ? You have promised, have you 
not?" 

"Yes." 

" Where is Tempje ? Why is he not here?" 

'' He will come this evening as usual." 

"It may be too late, Agnes. Send for 
him." 

She left the room, seemingly to obey ; but 
Philip did not come before the evening. Mr 
Mortimer was sinking fast, — almost too ill to 
speak. He pressed Philip's hand with fever- 
ish energy. 

" Why are you so late ? " he whispered. 

Philip glanced at the clock ; it was ten 
minutes sooner than the time when he usually 
joined them. He turned to Agnes, but read 
nothing in her face. " I am sorry I did not 
hurry more," he said, apologetically. 

" You will do it ? " said Mr Mortimer, after 
several minutes, during which he had found no 
voice. 



8o A DREAMER. 

'' Surely," said Philip, startled ; " tell me." 

** Agnes knows. She has promised. Show 
him — the paper." 

" Yes, papa, later. Do not trouble yourself. 
You may trust us." Philip looked at her in- 
quiringly. *' I will tell you afterwards," she 
whispered. 

Mr Mortimer closed his eyes. He did not 
speak again, but several hours passed before 
he breathed his last. Just before he died 
he turned his head again to look at his 
daughter, as if to recall his last wish to her 
mind, and Agnes smiled reassuringly. 

Philip led his betrothed into another room 
and clasped her in his arms. She wept. 
Philip had expected to see her weep, and 
tears from his own eyes fell on her dark, 
bowed head. He liked to feel her leaning 
upon him ; his arm supported her with re- 
newed tenderness and dignity. While his 
tears fell with a boyish abandon, he felt him- 
self more of a man than he had done before. 
Life would be no playtime of experiment and 
dilettanteism in future. 



PRELIMINARY. 8l 

" Tell me, dearest," said Philip, presently, 
"what did he speak of? What is the wish 
he has intrusted to us to carry out ? " 

" It is nothing difficult, Philip. Some money 
he wished given to poor Henry, that my 
uncle asked for urgently. It seems almost 
throwing money away giving it to Henry; but, 
of course, we must attend to papa's wish. 
Three or four days ago he wrote down for 
me the sum he wished Henry to have. He 
spoke particularly about it, because it is not 
in his will." 

" Yes, that will be easily settled. There is 
a great deal before us, Agnes," said Philip, 
meditatively. 

*' I am so thankful to have you to help In It 
all," said Agnes, clinging to him, for indeed 
she felt the need of Philip's help In what was 
coming. She had put him off for the present, 
but had by no means resolved that she would 
not speak more frankly later. It was not a 
thing to be told In a hurry. 

'* You will rest now, dearest," said Philip ; 
*' you need rest." 

VOL. I. r 



82 A DREAMER. 

But when Philip was gone and Agnes had 
shut herself into the solitude of her own room, 
it was not of rest that she thought. She threw 
off the mask she had worn for several hours, 
and abandoned herself to the struggle that had 
to be faced before she next saw her lover. 
She was in a state of painful uncertainty that 
made her regret each thing she had done, and 
yet acknowledge that she had acted wisely. 
Agnes was not disposed to analyse her con- 
duct and her motives. Truthful analysis causes 
unpleasant discoveries sometimes, and we do 
not like giving ugly names to our own actions 
and wishes. Agnes Mortimer was convinced 
that she was a very prudent, well-intentioned 
woman : she did not care to probe this convic- 
tion with a view to finding unsoundness in it. 

The following day found her still undecided, 
but the balance of her thoughts inclined to 
silence. Philip did not refer to her father's 
words again, and several days passed with 
no more on Agnes's part. To speak would be 
trebly difficult now. Yet one day she began 
to pave the way to do so if it should seem 



PRELIMINARY. S^ 

desirable. The first step was to see some- 
thino^ of the effect such a revelation miorht 
have on Philip. 

*' Do you know," said Agnes, while her 
heart beat fast with unnecessary apprehen- 
sion, "that Henry is in prison on a charge 
of fraud ? " 

" Yes, Agnes, I know," said Philip. This 
subject had been untouched between them 
as yet. 

" You will not thank me for bringing you 
such disreputable relations," said Agnes. 

"He belongs to me m.ore than to you, 
Agnes," said Philip. 

" You thought a great deal of Henry," ob- 
served she. 

" No ; I think not. But he belongs to me, 
If you can understand what I mean. I feel 
this that he has done, something personal for 
which I shall be ashamed all my life." 

" You will feel it more when he is your rela- 
tion ; it will be still harder to forgive him for 
disgracing you." 

" That is true, Agnes — as to the disgrace ; 



84 A DREAMER. 

but I knew and loved him too well not to 
forgive him." 

*' And If — If you had not known and loved 
him so well, you would not be able to forgive ? 
you would feel the disgrace to me — to us both 
— more ? " 

'' I suppose so," said Philip. '' It Is not easy 
to forgive people for disgracing us. In some 
cases I should hardly try to forgive." 

Agnes turned away. Alone again In her 
room, she once more considered the alterna- 
tive presented to her. 

" It Is Impossible," she said ; ** he must not 
know. I could not tell him. He feels that 
sort of thing more than most people do. He 
would never forgive papa, and he would de- 
spise us all. It Is decided now. I will not 
tell him." 

Probably whatever Philip had said. In the 
little talk with the side purpose in it, Agnes's 
resolution would have been the same. 

Soon after this, Philip returned to England, 
the Government commission that had afforded 
him a place having finished its investigations. 



PRELIMINARY. 85 

He mieht have been recommended for other 
employment had he wished it, but his old un- 
settled idleness had returned. He intended 
to be a first-rate country gentleman ; but in 
order to fit himself for this vocation he had 
much to learn, and without leisure time he 
could not learn. He took lodgings in Blooms- 
bury, and spent his mornings in the library 
of the British Museum learning Sanskrit. Mr 
Temple believed his son to be studying Polit- 
ical Economy, and it is true that Philip had 
turned his thoughts in that direction : he 
devoted his evenings to writing a slashing- 
rejoinder to Mr Mill's latest suggestions ; and 
had elaborated sundry quite original doctrines, 
which he was prepared to reduce to practice 
on the earliest opportunity. But he did not 
care much about Political Economy. Ancient 
Indian mythology attracted him far more. 
Mr Temple found out this waste of time, 
and wrote expostulatingly : — 

" The classics themselves are useful only as 
a means to an end. For instance, I am glad 
to deem myself a fairly good Greek scholar, 



86 A DREAMER. 

but the fact has no importance for me except 
in so far as It bears on the study of theology. 
In your position you will need Httle Latin and 
less Greek ; and you have already more than 
a sufficient acquaintance with these languages 
and literatures. By diving deeper into them, 
as you are doing at present, when so many 
weightier subjects are pleading with you for 
study, you are wasting your time as surely as 
if you were devoting it to third-rate novels. 
As to the Indian language, which cannot even 
boast an affinity to the Hebrew, I consider it 
a perfectly useless study except for a phono- 
logist. Reflect, my dear son, on the short 
time left to you before you enter on a life that 
will entail Immense responsibilities, and for 
which you have not been prepared by any 
technical education. Your wife will look to 
you for advice and guidance. But very shortly, 
I fear, you will see cause to repent that you 
have squandered these months, which, by judi- 
cious application, might have proved a source 
of lasting benefit to yourself and to the ten 
talents lent you by the Heavenly Master, for 



PRELIMINARY. 87 

which you will some day have to render a 
strict account." 

Philip shrugged his shoulders, and replied 
by an aphorism : — 

*' In the pursuit of the Interesting, neither 
the wisest nor the dullest man can avoid being 
himself overtaken by the useful and the unin- 
teresting." 

Whereupon he began to dip Into Arabic. 

April came : It was a fine spring, and already 
the leaves were green upon the trees. Long 
sunny days, with no faint touch of easterly 
wind ; gentle showers, to lay March's unwhole- 
some legacy of dust ; soft hazy evenings, 
tempting to ride or boat by sweet sugges- 
tions of summer glow, tempered by a reflec- 
tion of tender February coolness ; masses of 
flowers, brought In from the country and distri- 
buted through the streets by hopeful children 
rejoicing in the growing warmth — primroses. 
Lent lilies, hyacinths, wallflowers, each with 
Its luscious scent and pure yellow, pink, or 
brown ; — It was all typical of what April in 
London ought to be ; and Philip, always sensi- 



88 A DREAMER. 

tlve to idealised natural impressions, felt the 
strong pulses of hope and happiness beating 
within him, in unison with the throbbing heart 
of nature. 

Not unmixed happiness, however. Wander- 
ing under the trees of Kensington Gardens, 
he could lose all sense of the world's trouble, 
in a dream of his own and his beautiful bride's 
future united life, over which the halo of 
young anticipation shone with a golden light, 
— till a recollection would check his springing 
footstep and bring the flush of pain to his face. 
He would pause, and press his hand to his 
brow, feeling that this golden spring was 
jarring hopelessly with another heart, once 
brighter than his own ; and often then he 
would leave the pleasant garden, with its twi- 
light shadows and sunset - illumined glades, 
preferring to plunge into narrow, doleful alleys, 
where the poor people dwelt — where he could 
dream and fancy indeed, but not of unmixed 
gladness and joy. 

For Henry was in London also, imprisoned 
for two long years ; and Philip knew well that 



PRELIMINARY. 89 

Henry's was no nature to bear this unscathed. 
He deserved it, people said ; his guilt was un- 
questioned, and the punishment was considered 
light, for even the judge had been influenced 
by the gracious presence and the bonny boyish 
face of the young culprit, who made no ex- 
cuses, who was known by all to be guilty, who 
was blamed and pitied by all. But Henry, 
w^ho deserved more punishment than he had re- 
ceived, who admitted his guilt, and was not in 
the least oppressed by it, was like some beau- 
tiful caged bird that cannot live without liberty, 
and that beats its wings all day against the 
cage in a fruitless, unreasoning yearning to 
reach the free air once more. Philip knew 
Henry well enough to guess at the misery re- 
straint would cast over him. While his indigna- 
tion at the boy's crime was more intense, more 
bitter, than that of any of his other friends, he 
yet pitied him with a more discerning grief 
than even loving, merciful Ralph could bestow. 
Ralph Lindsay knew that Philip was in 
London, but he had not cared to call upon 
him, and they did not meet till one day far on 



90 A DREAMER. 

ill April, when Ralph at last went to speak to 
him about Henry. Philip was out, but Ralph 
went into his room and waited. There was a 
portrait of Agnes on the wall ; books lay about 
in all directions, books on all sorts of subjects, 
evidently much used and treated with more 
familiarity than ceremony. On the writing- 
table lay a pile of MS. Ralph took up the 
topmost sheet. It w^as in Philip's writing ; a 
fairy tale — at least, it began as a fairy tale — 
most simple and nazve, but presently wandered 
off into a metaphysical argument, abstruse, 
bewildering, whimsical. Ralph read it through, 
and laid it down again on the table. Beside it 
stood a vase, a lodging-house vase of red glass, 
filled with flowers, buttercups and daisies, 
the last flowers you would look for in a young 
man's room. Ralph sighed, and went to the 
window. He disliked Philip — thought him 
unprincipled, dangerous, heartless ; but he was 
jealous of him. Ralph had not envied Philip's 
superior abilities during their contemporary 
college career : but now he would have liked 
to have written that fairy tale ; he would have 



PRELIMINARY. 91 

liked pictures of a beautiful woman about his 
room ; nay, he would have liked that jug of 
field flowers. The flowers in themselves were 
very little ; he could gather some himself on 
Sunday when he was to dine at Hampstead 
with a friend. But his buttercups in a red 
vase would be a copy of Philip's ; he would 
rather have thought of gathering them himself. 
Steps were heard ascending the stairs. Ralph 
knew the firm, rhythmical tread, such as his 
ordinary feet seemed incapable of producing. 
He bit his lip, and frowned. 

Philip started on seeing Ralph. They met 
with embarrassment. Philip was cold and con- 
strained ; Ralph nervous and anxious. Henry 
had been three months in prison, and to- 
morrow Ralph was going to see him. Had 
Temple any message ? It seemed an unne- 
cessary question on Ralph's part, one that he 
himself disliked to put ; but his sense of jus- 
tice required it. There were so many things 
Temple ought to say to Henry. 

Philip's answer disconcerted Ralph. " I 
will see him myself" 



92 A DREAMER. 

In Ralph's mind was a foolish awe of Philip. 
Instead of simply asserting his own intentions, 
as he had every right to do, he spoke plead- 
ingly — ''I have arranged it with Henry. It 
is his wish that I should eo." 

" I will come with you," said Philip. He 
was thinking only of himself and Henry, and 
forgot that Ralph's wishes might demand con- 
sultation. 

Ralph made no audible remonstrance. He 
disliked the plan exceedingly ; but at least he 
would see Henry himself He could yield thus 
far, if yielding this would satisfy. Philip, self- 
absorbed, did not notice Ralph's reluctance. 
When the morrow came, they together pre- 
sented themselves at the prison-gates. 

Reader, have you ever visited a friend in 
prison ? The narrow corridor barred on either 
side, so that you cannot touch him ; the lis- 
tener ; the hollow clank of the keys ; the dull 
echo to your own constrained voice ; the pale 
face gazing at you through the bars ; the prison 
dress ; the languid step ; — it is a scene you will 
not forget. And if the prisoner is one so 



PRELIMINARY. 93 

young and fair as Henry — if you see as much 
change in him as Ralph and Philip saw in 
Henry — it will haunt you for days after! 

Philip had not been five minutes in Henry's 
presence before he wished he had not come. 
The uselessness of the pain made itself too evi- 
dent. Henry had not much to say — one wild 
complaint against the confinement ; nothing 
else seemed to affect him much. It was killing 
him, he cried. He scarcely spoke to Philip, 
appearing to cling entirely to Ralph. And 
Philip could not speak to Henry. The mere 
presence of the official silenced him : the man's 
stony expression, assumed from a delicate wish 
to annihilate himself as much as possible, made 
him monstrous and terrible to Philip. Ralph 
himself w^as an absolute barrier to free inter- 
course. And, above all, Henry's state of mind 
was Incomprehensible to Philip. Was the con- 
finement really all that oppressed him ? Philip 
felt so utterly out of sympathy with him, that 
no words rose to his lips. Reproaches were 
out of place, and compassion and grief were 
of a kind too deep and mysterious for expres- 



94 A DREAMER. 

sion. He stood silent, with compressed lips ; 
as stony, apparentl}^, as the speechless, expres- 
sionless warder. 

Not so Ralph. His was a loving, simple 
nature, with few complexities and few ques- 
tionable tendencies. He was more influenced 
by objects themselves than by his thoughts 
about them, and feeling with him was bearable 
only if translatable into action. The sight of 
Henry, who as yet was the dearest person in 
the world to him — for men like Ralph are 
supremely constant by nature — pale, ill, miser- 
able, banished all thought but the longing to 
comfort him. Ralph forgot the presence of 
other persons ; forgot Henry s ill-doing ; forgot 
his own incompetence to remove the pain, 
whatever its nature, that was driving the boy 
to desperation. And Henry, whose wavering, 
inconstant nature had been keenly wounded 
by what he considered Philip's treachery (for 
no explanation had been offered of the circum- 
stance leading to his arrest), turned again to 
his earlier friend with more vehemence than 
was exactly genuine. Ralph and 'Henry had 



PRELIMINARY. 95 

much to say; Philip and Henry said nothing 
but the merest commonplaces. 

The meagre time granted to the visitors was 
over, and the warder was preparing to lead 
Henry away. His closing sentence to Ralph 
he prefaced with these words, uttered with a 
deliberation contrasting forcibly with his pre- 
vious excited sentences; — 

" I shall die before the first year is over : 
this is good-bye in reality perhaps." 

The visitors silently descended the long 
stone stairs, where conversation seemed illegal. 
Philip, following Ralph, had fallen into a reverie, 
of which Henry's prophecy was the motive. If 
he were really dying — if he were really to be 
given a fresh start in another world — might it 
not be the best thing ? Nay, was it not surely 
the best thing ? What could he, could any man, 
do for him ? Was God less merciful than 
man ? And was not God infinitely more 
powerful, more wise, more righteous ? " Don't 
leave him with me," cried his heart ; " I could 
only fail, and he would be sacrificed. ' God 
fails never.' 



> jj 



96 A DREAMER. 

The thought was the first breath of comfort 
that had come to Philip since he had entered 
the prison-gates. As they issued once more 
into the street, he turned to Ralph to shake his 
hand at parting. 

Ralph, too, was repeating to himself Henry's 
parting words — " It is good-bye in reality 
perhaps." 

As Philip touched him, he raised a dull, 
stricken face, where no consolation pierced the 
enveloping gloom of sorrow. The very thought 
that had brought a breath of hope to Philip 
had been the culmination of Ralph's grief. If 
he never saw his Henry again ! 

Ralph said nothing for a moment as Philip 
took his hand. Then he sharply withdrew it, 
and spoke bitterly ; — 

*' Good-bye, Temple. I hope you are con- 
tent with your work." 

Philip made no answer. His heart had 
leaped up under the sudden revulsion of feel- 
ing as Ralph's misery encountered his own 
lightened pain : he scarcely heard the bitter 
words, though years afterwards they rose In 



PRELIMINARY. 97 

his memory. He saw only the mournful, 
hungry eyes, where disappointment struggled 
with desire and reproach. Again the strange 
sense that his lot and Ralph's were inexplic- 
ably bound together forced itself upon him ; 
and as Lindsay walked slowly away, Philip 
stood before the prison -gate watching him, 
while his breath came painfully, and his heart 
beat with a swiftness and strength that almost 
robbed him of physical consciousness, and yet 
deepened the vivid mental impression. 



VOL. I. 



98 



CHAPTER VIL 

On entering, Philip found a letter from Agnes 
asking him to visit her at Salehurst, where she 
was living with a maiden aunt. Mr Benson, 
her father's lawyer, was coming on business, 
and must be asked to stay for dinner. Would 
Philip come and help her to entertain him ? 
He would remain till the next day, of course. 

Philip agreed to the proposal — not with his 
customary alacrity, perhaps. Agnes's motive 
in asking him on this occasion was of so 
perfectly simple a nature that it needs ex- 
planation. Mr Benson was a disagreeable 
person, and Miss Mortimer did not wish to 
be bothered with him. Philip was the most 
convenient person to whose shoulders the 
burden could be transferred, and Agnes ac- 
cordingly passed it gracefully over. It had 



PRELIMINARY. 99 

long been her unspoken principle never to 
do anything disagreeable, if another person 
could be made to do It Instead. 

Salehurst, where Philip was to exercise his 
vocation of first-rate country gentleman, was 
one of those beautiful historical places of 
which England Is justly proud. Philip's 
emotions as he mounted the fine horse that 
Agnes used to send to meet him at the 
little country station were always of the most 
pleasurable kind. Of course they were not 
wholly unconnected with the fact that It was a 
fine horse ; that the people touched their hats 
to him with much respect as he passed ; that 
Salehurst Park, though not of great extent, 
possessed the finest beech-trees In the county ; 
that the house was old and stately, with a gal- 
lery of family portraits, and a bed-chamber In 
which Queen Elizabeth had reposed her regal 
head. Very few people are wholly insensible 
to such circumstances, and certainly Philip was 
not one of the few. Salehurst had great at- 
tractions for him; and though he never ceased 
wondering at the strange trick of fortune which 



100 A DREAMER. 

had laid it at his feet, he was not at all disposed 
to quarrel with fortune for the arrangement. 
But Philip's vanity was always more inclined 
to glory in what he was than in what he had : 
at present it was rather In what he would be 
than in what he would have. He meant to 
be such a model of a country gentleman! 
and what a queen Agnes would be for miles 
around ! 

Mr Benson was elderly, — fond of snuff and 
fond of port wine. Philip took a dislike to 
him at once ; thought the dinner would never 
end, and that Mr Benson was determined to 
be late for his train afterwards, as he chatted 
lazily to him alone in the dining-room when 
the ladles had withdrawn. 

But at last he hit upon a subject that ar- 
rested Philip's wandering attention, made him 
sit straight up in his chair for half an hour, 
and start with surprise when the carriage was 
announced that was to take the old man to 
the station. Not a pleasant subject appa- 
rently, nor pleasantly spoken of; for Philip 
frowned as he coated the lawyer, and scarcely 



PRELIMINARY. lOI 

touched his hand at parting. Then he turned 
to Agnes — 

** I am going to study moonHght on the 
trees for an hour," he said, and disappeared 
into the night. 

It was raining, but PhiHp paced up and 
down near the house unheeding, his brows 
knit and his Hps pressed tightly together. 
When he came in, Miss Davidson, Agnes's 
aunt, had gone to bed, and his betrothed 
was waiting for him in the Hbrary. PhiHp 
threw himself into a chair, and looked at her 
abstractedly. He answered her observations 
about tea and his damp appearance with so 
preoccupied an air that Agnes laid down her 
embroidery and examined him carefully. 

*' Something is the matter, Philip. What 
is it?" 

He did not answer at once; then he plunged 
into the subject occupying his thoughts. 

" Agnes, that fellow Benson has been telling 
me the most extraordinary story." 

Again Miss Mortimer scrutinised her young 
lover ; but she answered quietly — 



102 A DREAMER. 

''You must not attach too much importance to 
what a gossiping old man like Mr Benson says.'' 

'' I hope you will be able to prove to me 
that it is only a gossiping story," said Philip, 
with some sharpness. 

Agnes felt her heart beating with a vague 
sense of apprehension, but she calmed herself 
with argument. " I am sure," continued Philip, 
'' that it is as new to you as it is to me. I 
hope, for the sake of our peace of mind, you 
will be able to show that it is an invention." 

'* Well, what is it ? " 

*' It is about the way in which your father 
came by this property." 

'' I thought you knew all about that." 

** I knew a little about it. Your uncle, 
Henry's father, was the eldest son, but was 
disinherited." 

" I told you that myself," said Agnes. 

" I know you did. Do you know any more 
about it ? " 

'' Nay ; tell me what you have heard." 

Philip drew closer to Agnes, and arrested 
her work with his hand. 



PRELIMINARY. 103 

" Agnes — it is not true, I daresay — Mr Ben- 
son says your grandfather had changed his 
mind aeain before he died ; he wished his 
eldest son to succeed him." 

Agnes moved sHghtly, but did not reply. 

"He drew up a will to that effect under this 
Mr Benson's direction ; he signed it ; and to 
the last day of his life he expressed his wish 
to be in accordance with that. Your father 
and every one knew it. Yet after his death 
no will could be found but the former one, 
leaving almost everything to his younger 
son." 

"Well?" said Agnes. 

" Did you know anything of all that ? " 
Philip was very close to her, and his eyes 
were fixed on hers : Agnes had no time to 
hesitate. 

" I have heard my father speak of it." 

Philip rose and walked over to the chimney- 
piece ; he stood with his back to the fire, lean- 
ing one elbow on the dark ledge in the oak 
carving. He was still watching her. She 
pursued her embroidery with great calmness. 



104 A DREAMER. 

It was some time before either of them spoke 
again. 

" I can't understand how Mr Mortimer could 
have taken possession under such circum- 
stances," said PhlHp, at length. 

*' That is rather an unkind way of putting 
it," said Agnes, gently smiling; "what else 
could he do ? If the second will was not 
forthcoming, there was nothing for It but to 
act on the first." 

*' What can have become of it ? " 

" That Is what no one could find out." 

'* But, Agnes " Philip paused. 

'' Well, dear ? " 

'* The old man thought it was all right. He 
did not mean his first will to be acted upon. 
He must have destroyed the wrong one by 
mistake or something." 

" I don't see how he could have done that." 

*' Well, at any rate he anticipated, no doubt. 
He intended his eldest son to sttcceed himr 
Agnes made no reply. " Was It not so, dear- 
est ?" . 

" Some people like giving trouble. I have 



PRELIMINARY. 105 

often heard of persons whose wills turned out 
entirely different from what was expected." 

" Was there any doubt, Agnes, as to what 
he wished ? " 

" I suppose papa was satisfied that It was all 
right before he took possession, as you call It.'^ 

" Are you satisfied ? " 

" I don't see that It concerns us," said Agnes : 
*' why need we discuss It ? " 

" I think It concerns us very materially." 

- Why ? " 

" Why ? Don't you see, Agnes ? " 

" I dislike judging people's conduct, especi- 
ally when they are not by to explain them- 
selves." 

'* Agnes, It does concern you." 

''How.^" 

*' Because — because — Agnes, because you 
are now in your father's place." 

Agnes looked up, not as If It was a new 
Idea to her, but as If she at last fully under- 
stood Philip's attitude. She did not reply, 
however. 

" Don't you see, dearest ? " 



I06 A DREAMER. 

" I don't see exactly what you mean." 

" Don't you, Agnes ?" 

''What Is it?" 

" It appears to me that your uncle should 
have been in your father's place, and Henry in 
yours." 

" I daresay papa felt scruples, I should 
have, certainly. But it is done now ; it can't 
be helped." 

" Why do you say it can't be helped ? " 

'' What would you propose to do ? " 

" Your uncle is still alive." 

" I think papa was a very much better 
person to have all this money than uncle 
William." 

" That has nothing to do with It." A pause. 
" Agnes, don't you care about all this ? " 

" I wish you would not be always asking 
me if I ca7^e about things. It Is more my 
business than yours." 

"It Is my business, Agnes, if I am to be 
your husband." 

She glanced at him. " What do you want 
me to do, Philip ? " 



PRELIMINARY. 10/ 

'' Could you retain anything comfortably 
that you thought should be your uncle's ? " 

" Do you want me to give it up ? '' 

" If it Is a thing you have not the right to, 
you ought certainly to give it up." 

" You give away my property with great 
calmness. Forgive me if I consult my own 
opinion a little on the subject." 

" But I mean what I say, Agnes." 

'' I do not exactly agree with you, however. 
It is very easy to say I have no right to it. 
That is the point you have to prove." 

'' You admit yourself that your grandfather 
intended his eldest son to be his heir. Agnes, 
don't you see ? " impatiently, after a pause. 

" I see that you are Quixotic and romantic." 

" For goodness' sake, Agnes, do not laugh 
over a matter of such importance." 

'' I am not laughing ; but I view it with a 
little common - sense. I have always been 
afraid that your romantic nature would some 
day propose some extraordinary thing that I 
should have to dispute about with you. Xo 
man in his senses would ask me to throw 



I08 A DREAMER. 

away my property on such very slender 
grounds.'' 

" Slender grounds ! " 

'' Any honourable, practical person will 
agree with me. Ask your father." 

'' Will you accept my father s arbitration ? " 

"Will you accept it?" 

'' It will not alter my opinion." 

" Then there Is no use in consulting another 
person about our affairs." A few moments' 
silence, then Agnes resumed — *' If uncle Wil- 
liam went to law about it, there could be no 
question of the verdict." 

** The law deals with generalities," said 
Philip. "It knows nothing of the great law 
of exceptivity. There is where conscience 
steps in." 

" Nevertheless the law is of use In deciding 
doubtful points." 

" Would you like to go to law about It ? " 

" No ; I should rather the matter was not 
made public." Agnes was looking down at 
her work. Presently she raised her eyes and 
became conscious that she had made a blun- 



PRELIMINARY. I09 

der. Philip was staring at her in astonish- 
ment. " I mean '' she began, hastily. 

" Don't try to explain it away, Agnes," said 
Philip, sternly. There was another pause. 
Aofnes was considerinor what had offended 
him in her last remark. Philip was too much 
bewildered to say another word at present. 
He had never imagined that Agnes could 
speak as she had done to-night. '' It is my 
fault," he told himself, vaguely ; but none the 
less what he really felt was that she was 
wrong. 

At last Agnes rose, and gathered her skeins 
of silk together. She did it slowly and osten- 
tatiously ; for she wished Philip to speak first. 
He remained silent, however. 

"■ All sensible people would take my view," 
said Agnes at last. " Sleep on it, dear, and 
you will admit that I am right. You know 
you are inclined to be run away with by an 
idea," she said, playfully ; and coming over to 
his side, she put her arm round his neck, and 
drew his head down to kiss him. 

Philip turned away. 



no A DREAMER. 

Agnes flushed angrily. He was rude as 
well as unreasonable. She no longer felt 
sorry to be obliged to annoy him. She moved 
to the door, then paused to say pointedly, 
*'Good night, Philip." 

He followed her, and arrested her retreat 
by putting his arm round her ; but there was 
nothing conciliatory in his manner. Agnes 
thought it best to treat the matter playfully. 

" Well, you want to kiss me now, do you ? 
Have you been trying to quarrel with me, 
Philip?" 

'' No, Agnes." He kissed her, but coldly, 
and led her back to her chair. " Agnes, listen 
to me. I must speak plainly. I think your 
father acted not only doubtfully but dis- 
honourably. It Is the privilege of children to 
repair their father's mistakes." 

" I think both your assertions are open to 
question,'' said Agnes, with spirit. '' I cannot 
allow you to decide this matter for me, Philip." 

'' Agnes, do you think I could touch one 
penny of money that ought by right to have 
been Henry's ?" 



PRELIMINARY. Ill 

" You seem to have an exceedingly mor- 
bid feeling about Henry. I cannot under- 
stand it." 

" No, Agnes, you don't understand it," said 
Philip, quietly ; " but the feeling is a fact. 
I ask you to respect it." 

" Certainly ; but not to the point of throw- 
ing away my property. I can't imagine any 
one more unsuitable to undertake it than 
Henry." 

" I could not touch it. I hope I should feel 
the same, no matter who might be the heir. 
The fact that it is Henry strengthens the 
feeling tenfold. Agnes, do you dread the 
thought of poverty so much ? We shall not 
be so very poor. Your uncle may allow you 
as much as he received. I have a little 
money, and I can work. I will work very 
hard for you." His tone was softer, the 
momentary repulsion was gone, and his affec- 
tion had returned. 

" I am sorry we disagree so entirely," said 
Agnes, coldly. " I cannot admit your argu- 
ments ; they belong to your favourite Utopia, 



112 A DREAMER. 

and are out of place in this common-sense 
world. I hope you will come round to my 
opinion. Meantime I must decide for my- 
self." 

Philip looked at her sorrowfully, and with 
reviving affection came temptation. He sus- 
pected that the generality of consciences 
would on this matter be less scrupulous than 
his own. If for this once he were to act by 
other people's consciences ! '' We will think 
it over, Agnes," said Philip. *' I am going 
home for a fortnight. Then we can make up 
our minds." 

She kissed him and went to her own room. 

The following day found Philip at the par- 
sonage. There were his grandfather and his 
cousin Oliver on a visit. The latter was a 
very *' rising " young man, and a general 
favourite. Mrs Temple, always a little jealous 
of Oliver's mother, hoped her boy would be 
better able to cope with his cousin than in old 
times, for Philip's last visit had left a pleasant 
impression on her mind. Alas, the old faults 
had returned ! He was silent, cross, sarcastic. 



PRELIMINARY. II3 

He took not enough Interest in temperance 
meetings and clothing clubs to abuse them ; 
he avoided Oliver; he snubbed the General. 
Mrs Temple was In despair, and annoyed 
Philip with remonstrances. Mr Temple let 
him alone, but In displeasure. 

It was Philip's own fault, of course. In 
nine cases out of ten, misunderstood people 
have only themselves to blame. If Philip 
had given his father the smallest hint of the 
strupforle eolnor on In his own mind, he would 
have been rewarded with Instant sympathy, 
no matter whether Mr Temple thought him 
Oulxotic or not. He mlgrht have orlven him 
some advice on the matter, for the good 
clergyman had not reached the age of elght- 
and-forty without having accumulated a store 
of practical and honourable wisdom, that 
would have been Invaluable to his son. But 
the young man, proud. Intolerant, and self- 
contained, preferred to fight his battles unaided 
and unseen. A kindly advance, a friendly 
question, annoyed him ; and he thought his 
mother Interfering and his father suspicious, 

VOL. I. H 



114 A DREAMER. 

when one sensible word from himself would 
have thrown down the barrier between them 
in a moment. 

He paid for his reserve — not only in the 
harsh judgments necessarily formed by those 
surrounding him. A smouldering fire does 
more deadly damage than one perceived and 
combated. For the present, Philip's outer 
nature, .that part of him which concerned 
speech, action, and circumstance, — and his 
inner nature, which concerned thought and 
feeling, were tolerably well balanced, and 
acted in sufficient harmony. How long this 
balance might be retained was questionable. 
By shutting one part of himself entirely to 
himself, he was not acting in a manner con- 
ducive to its preservation. 

'' That poor fellow, young Mortimer, Is 
dead," said Oliver one day. " You knew it, 
Phil?" 

'' Yes, two days ago." Philip was lying on 
his back on the hearth-rug, a newspaper In his 
hands. He answered with studied quietness, 
not thinking or not caring that some show of 



PRELIMINARY. II5 

Interest would be expected from him. His 
wish was that they would not talk of Henry. 
He had never lost the sense that his death 
would be the best possible thing that could 
happen for him. The thought of Henry alive 
had been painful ; the thought of Henry in 
God's hands, started afresh — dying young be- 
because beloved of heaven — had come to him 
as a message of peace. But the stronger the 
feeling, the stronger also was the certainty that 
it would not be understood, and he determined 
to say nothing about Henry. He adroitly 
turned the subject, and presently escaped. Mrs 
Temple burst into tears. 

'' Oh, Arthur, how hard he Is ! Fancy his 
not caring. That poor miserable young man ! " 

Great sternness had settled on the clergy- 
man's benevolent face. "It is the old story,'' 
he said, sadly; '' he has taken a creature feebler 
than himself for his amusement, and havine 
got all he wanted out of it, now views its ruin 
unconcernedly, because he has himself escaped 
in safety." 

Philip's exit had been arrested in the door- 



Il6 A DREAMER. 

way by the sound of his mother's sob. He 
had Hstened unseen. Now he re-entered, pale, 
his eyes flashing. A pause followed ; every one 
knew he had heard. Oliver viewed the scene 
with curiosity ; there was always an element 
of unexpectedness In Philip's actions and words. 
The General was sorry for the boy, and wished 
to make a diversion in his favour, but could 
think of none. 

" You are speaking of what you do not 
understand," said Philip, at length. " You talk 
of viewing another's ruin unconcernedly. Shall 
I tell you what is of greater importance than 
another's ruin ? A man's self I care about 
Henry more than any of you do, but I am at 
present too much occupied with myself to give 
him all my thoughts." 

Philip paused, and no one replying, again 
escaped from the room. 

Could anything be more vague, more un- 
satisfactory, more calculated to give an unpleas- 
ing impression ? Mrs Temple's tears flowed 
faster ; the gloom on her husband's face deep- 



PRELIMINARY. II7 

ened. Oliver went to the window to hide the 
little triumphant smile that would curl round 
his lips when Philip made an especial fool of 
himself The old General was very uncom- 
fortable, and presently said — 

" Don't judge the poor fellow too harshly. 
I don't understand him a bit better than you 
do ; but I have a suspicion that there is more 
in him, and of a better quality, than you think." 

Though not enjoying his stay at home, 
Philip delayed his departure for another week. 
The great question pending between himself 
and Agnes had received no solution as yet in 
his mind. If Agnes would not give in to him, 
what was he to do ? Was he to ofive in to 
her ? Now, a fortnight after she had uttered 
the words that had so startled him, and viewed 
by the gilding haze of memory, they did not 
seem nearly so repulsive as they had done at 
first. He began to think that perhaps, after all, 
Aofnes's view mi^ht have its advocates amone 
worthy and honourable people. Certainly it 
might ; for she held it, and she was worthy 



Il8 A DREAMER. 

and honourable. Philip was so used to hear- 
ing his theories called illusory and absurd, 
that he was apt to lose the sense of the point 
where their carrying-out ceased to be volun- 
tary and became obligatory. Perhaps this was 
a case not of lawful or unlawful, but of expe- 
dient or inexpedient. If so, he might give in to 
Agnes ; and Henry was no longer here with 
wild eyes claiming something from him. And 
he meant to be such a blessing to Salehurst : 
he had so many theories to carry out there ; 
and if once his theories could get free play 
they would win converts at once. And he 
loved Agnes so much, and thought her the 
best woman in the world. He would trust 
her common-sense in this matter : she was far 
nobler than he, and every one said he had no 
common-sense. After all, what she had said 
was true. It was her affair, not his. Still 
Philip hesitated ; and all the arguments on the 
other side bubbled up in his mind, the more 
convincing because they came naturally, need- 
ing no invocation. 



PRELIMINARY. 1 19 

What would be the use of trying to carry 
out theories if he began by choking the most 
insistent theory of all ? 

" No," he said, stepping into the London 
train one dull, drizzling morning ; " that is a 
sort of quackery, and I won't do it." 



120 



CHAPTER VIII. 

Back again in Agnes's presence ! Subject to 
the influence of her stately tenderness, her 
surpassing beauty ! Could he give her up ? 
But it was not coming to that. As he watched 
her at dinner, Philip thought he saw signs of 
yielding in Agnes. She had pressed his hand 
more affectionately than usual ; she talked to 
him more submissively; she watched him more 
assiduously. Agnes fancied she saw signs of 
yielding in him : she hoped so ; she did not 
want to lose him. They said no word on 
the one engrossing subject till it was getting 
late and Miss Davidson had retired. Then 
Agnes took his hand and led him into the 
library. It was a large, sombre room, heavily 
panelled in oak : portraits of departed ances- 
tors hung upon the walls, and their grave, silent 



PRELIMINARY. 121 

faces flashed weird glances out of the gloom ; 
for the two candles on the mantelpiece and 
the smouldering fire on the hearth gave but a 
meagre and a flickering light. The two young 
things, holding each other's hands before the 
dying embers, looked strange and desolate in 
the great silent room. It was some time be- 
fore they spoke. Philip felt the gloom and 
the stillness more than did Agfnes. 

'' Dearest,'' said he, at length, " tell me we 
need not part." 

" I do not want to part," answered Agnes in 
a low voice, looking down. 

A long silence again ; they were beginning 
to understand that neither intended to yield. 

- Well, Philip ? " 

-Well, Agnes?" 

" You don't mean to say you have it still 
— an absurd scruple, a romantic wish ? " 

" Agnes, tell me what you intend to do." 

Her heart beat as she answered, " I have 
made no change ; I can make no change." 

" Agnes, I cannot marry you on those terms." 
His voice was low and sorrowful, but distinct. 



122 A DREAMER. 

** There is no real obstacle but your " 

'' Oh, Agnes ! " burst out Philip, throwing his 
arm round her, " give it up. Can you bear 
that we should part for the sake of a little 
money ?" 

'' Don't." She moved from him a little. 
" That is an exaggerated way of putting it. 
Let us talk sensibly." 

Philip was silent. 

'' You know, Philip, it is absurd. You could 
not expect me to do it. You are unreason- 
able." 

He walked up and down the room in silence. 

*' Well, Philip, come," joining him : '' you 
are fond of me ; I am fond of you. We don't 
want to part. It is my affair, not yours : let 
me have my way this time, and in future we 
shall agree better." 

" Agnes," said Philip, slowly, '' don't you see 
in the least what I mean ? why I couldn't do 
it ? Have you not wavered at all ? / have 
wavered. I have done my best to see with 
your eyes — to take your view. Have you 
never hesitated, Agnes ? " 



PRELIMINARY. 123 

" No, Philip, I cannot say that I have. I 
should like to please you, of course, but " 

" Then, Agnes '' — he stopped, and laid his 
hands on her shoulders — " there is a great 
gulf between us. If we disagree about this, 
we shall disao-ree about other thincrs. The 
rock we have split on is a typical rock." 

" As usual," said Agnes, " I don't half 
understand you. What do you mean exactly?" 

*' I mean that I think you are in a false 
position, and I cannot marry you unless you 
consent to abandon it." 

" Do you mean you think it is wrong, 
Philip ? " 

*' I have not thought much of whether it is 
wronor or rio^ht. I could not do it." 

" But do you think it is wrong ? " 

'' Well, yes," said Philip, after a pause ; " I 
suppose I do." 

She sighed. " I cannot understand you, 
Philip. You are an enthusiast. It seems such 
a little thing — a doubtful point — especially as 
it concerns you. You fancy it worse than 
it is." 



124 A DREAMER. 

" Great and little lose their ordinary mean- 
ing," said Philip, **when we apply them to 
moral actions. Actions are typical, and their 
importance is less in themselves than in their 
cause and their effect. But this does not seem 
little or doubtful to me. I could not do it. 
Did I say I hesitated ? I feel no hesitation 
now. Everything is clear to me as the moon- 
light." He pointed to the end of the room, 
unreached by the faint gleam from the candles. 
" Agnes, do you see the darkness there ? But 
there is light beyond! The moon and the 
stars are there whether we see them or not. 
Would you shut them out for ever ? They 
pierce the clouds, but they cannot pierce the 
windows with the shutters and the curtains 
that we have made." He stepped over to 
the farthest window and unbolted it. A ray 
from the clear, full moon streamed in and 
illuminated his earnest face and clasped 
hands. 

Agnes shivered. " What do you mean ? " 
she said, faintly. 

Philip did not answer. He returned to her 



PRELIMINARY. 125 

side and knelt by the fire, taking the poker 
and playing with it listlessly. 

" I hope we may neither of us ever do any- 
thing worse," said Agnes, vigorously. From 
the height of her own dark secret, Philip's Idea 
seemed to her almost contemptible. 

He glanced at her with a look of some sur- 
prise. After a few moments he said, ''It is 
different from one isolated action. It is a thing 
to affect our whole lives. It is choosing a path 
for life. I had exactly the same feeling when 
I refused to go into the Church as my father 
had wished. In God's name, Agnes, what 
could be more horrible than to walk throuQrh 
the world starting on the wrong path ? What 
good could there be in life for a man who did 
that?" 

" You bewilder me with your moons and 
your paths," said Agnes ; " I think you be- 
wilder yourself too. Do look at things sen- 
sibly — not through this distracting medium of 
metaphor." Agnes spoke with half-disdainful 
accents ; but his words, still more his manner, 
had impressed her. 



126 A DREAMER. 

Philip did not speak at once. Presently he 
took her hand. " Agnes, I could not do it. I 
should feel as if I were selling myself. Let us 
part, Agnes : now." 

She was wavering ; a few moments' pause, 
a few more earnest words, and she might have 
been in his arms — mi^ht even have confessed 
a deeper wrong than he suspected. But 
Philip did not know it. He dreaded that 
hesitation might return to himself if he pro- 
longed the struggle. The farewell must be 
now — at once. 

'' Good-bye, Agnes. One last kiss, my 
darling." 

She turned from him ; he was hurrying her. 
'* Not one, Agnes ? Can you bear it ? " 

Ah, he had misunderstood her — had checked 
her! A word's encouragement might have 
saved her ; he gave it not. 

" Let us part, Agnes. We could not walk 
together after this." 

Slowly she drew her ring from her finger 
and turned to face him. 

" Very well, Philip. I am very sorry. As 



PRELIMINARY. 127 

you say, we could not be comfortable together 
again. Some day you will think of me less 
harshly, I hope. There is my ring. Good- 
bye." 

Philip laid it on the mantelpiece. A poor 
little ring it was, not costly, nor rare, nor w^on- 
derful in any way; but oh, the pleasure he had 
taken in buying it ! how his heart had danced 
for joy, and the sun had shone, and the birds 
had sung for him, that golden day not a year 
aeo ! The siofht of that little rinof was too 
much for Philip. His eyes filled with tears, 
and for a few moments he gazed silently at 
Agnes. 

But she stood calm and cold, looking at 
him like a thing apart. 

" It must be so, Agnes ? You will not do 
this little thing for me ? Yet my love would 
have been worth keeping, Agnes!" He 
stretched out his arms to her, to clasp her 
once more to his heart ; but she remained 
standing silent and motionless. 

He pressed his lips on hers for the last time, 
and left her in the darkened room, into the far 



128 A DREAMER. 

end of which still streamed the flood of silver 
moonlight. 

Agnes never saw visions ; and when the 
door had closed, memory did not restore her 
lost lover still standing in that pure, pale 
beam, his face not clearly illuminated, but 
marked out in strong light and deep shadow. 
She did not think much of Philip when he 
had left her ; she thought of herself. She 
had chosen deliberate, conscious wrong, and 
she knew it. She was going to try a life be- 
gun thus. The first thing must be to remove 
anything that might lead to the discovery of 
the wrong she had done. Agnes opened her 
writing-table; in it lay the paper she had 
written for her dying father. She raised her 
eyes to a large old-fashioned bureau at the 
end of the room, not much used since her 
grandfather's day. Was there anything tell- 
tale in that ? Agnes considered, thinking only 
of herself, however. No, there was nothing 
to inculpate her, except this paper in her own 
handwriting. She cast it on the hearth, and 
stooping, tried to blow sufficient life into the 



PRELIMINARY. 1 29 

expiring embers to consume It. It was not 
very easily done ; and absorbed In her task, 
Agnes did not hear the door open softly and 
admit some one, who advanced quietly, not 
noticing her. It was Philip ; he had forgotten 
the little ring, and had returned for It. The 
one candle high up on the carved mantel- 
shelf gave so little light that he did not see 
the stooping black-robed figure by the hearth, 
till Agnes raised a scared white face to con- 
front him. Embarrassed and startled him- 
self, Philip stared at her, forgetting for the 
moment his own errand. 

Agnes started to her feet, having first nerv- 
ously snatched up the paper which was smok- 
ing but not yet burning; she crushed It in her 
hand, and spoke in a trembling, agitated voice : 
" What Is It ? What are you doing ? You 
have terrified me ! " 

Philip said nothing. He collected himself 
sufficiently to step forward and find the ring ; 
then he retired as quietly as he had come, and 
without turning his head to look at her again. 

Agnes trembled like a leaf, and only after 

VOL. I. I 



130 A DREAMER. 

long reasoning was she convinced that PhlHp 
could have seen nothing of the object she 
was taking such pains to destroy. She locked 
the door to complete her work of destruction ; 
and she listened long with the key in her hand 
before she had courage to venture up the 
broad staircase to her own room. 

While Philip and Agnes were talking to- 
gether In the library at Salehurst, Ralph Lind- 
say sat alone In a bachelor room of the great 
city, employing himself with his pencil. Ralph 
Lindsay was a bit of an artist, and his pencil 
had been busy of late. It was his favourite 
distraction when his thoughts became too 
painful. 

Ralph had grown pale and thin, he spoke 
little, and was much alone In his leisure time. 
There were a few people who thought he was 
going Into consumption ; but others, who knew 
of what fibre his simple, loving heart was made, 
and who knew also the history of one more 
to him than a brother, lately sunk Into an 
early and a dishonoured grave, perceived that 
It was no bodily ailment which had changed 



PRELIMINARY. 131 

the young man so grievously. All agreed that 
it was well he was going away — for Ralph's 
employers were sending him to the Hague 
for a few years, on business connected with the 
firm. He was a most trustworthy, sensible 
fellow, just the man for the post, which was 
one of some responsibility. Ralph did not 
care about going much ; one place seemed as 
dreary to him as another just then. 

He began to draw to-night with no par- 
ticular motive ; a face, of course — a portrait, 
also of course, but it was not designedly a 
portrait. The features grew into a face he 
knew, without his intending it — a young, not 
unhandsome face, with dark eyes, and some- 
thing of a scowl on the finely-chiselled, sensi- 
tive lips. The scowl was exaggerated, so were 
the frown and the contemptuous attitude of 
the hand. It was not exactly true to life, but 
it was like Philip Temple. There was some- 
thing in the face that fascinated Ralph. After 
he had recognised the portrait, he went on 
elaborating it with a care that annoyed him- 
self Suddenly he said " Pshaw ! " contempt- 



132 A DREAMER. 

uously, and crumpling up the picture, flung 
it into the grate. He did not want to draw 
Philip Temple. It was some minutes before 
the pencil moved again. Ralph drew fiercely, 
with intention now. It was the picture of a 
scene he knew by heart. 

What desolate, narrow room is that ? What 
is the figure in uniform guarding the door ? 
On a truckle-bed lies a slender boyish form. 
Over it stoops a friend, very slightly sketched 
in the pencil-drawing. The sufierer is half- 
sitting : his lips are parted ; he is speaking. 
It is a young, beautiful face, but wild and hag- 
gard : the finger of death is on it. He is say- 
ing something that makes the gloomy man 
in uniform shudder as he listens. Ralph did 
not write the words at the bottom of the 
picture, but they had been ringing through his 
ears ever since he had knelt by Henry's death- 
bed in the prison-cell. He stopped drawing, 
and looked at the picture. It was quickly but 
cleverly done ; it was effective and terrible. 

*' I must resist this," said Ralph, rising. ** I 
must not attach too much Importance to my 



PRELIMINARY. 133 

poor Henry's wild words. I shall always dis- 
like that man, but I must allow no unreasoning 
prejudice to infect me with morbid hatred. 
Let me draw something pleasanter." 

Essays at little landscapes — tarn or moor, 
mountain or river, such as Ralph remembered 
to have seen in Scotland. He and Henry had 
made a walking tour there together — long ago, 
when they had been boys. The landscapes 
did not grow to-night under Ralph's feverish 
touch. He abandoned them, and rising, paced 
the room several times, his hands behind his 
back and his head bent. But presently his 
features relaxed. A smile played round his 
lips. He sat down, and resuming his pencil, 
began another face — a face he had seen to- 
day for the first time. It was a pretty little 
picture. When finished, Ralph contemplated 
it with satisfaction. A childish figure, with 
clasped hands, and a little head thrown back- 
ward and surrounded by loose curling hair ; a 
plaintive, upturned face, with questioning eyes 
and pretty parted lips. Ralph spent a long 
time over the picture, lingering fondly on the 



134 A DREAMER. 

flowing hair and rounded shoulders peeping 
above a white pinafore. He had not had such 
a graceful little model before : he meant to 
keep this picture. 

Ralph was fond of fairy tales, though he 
never wrote one in his life. An old favourite, 
by Hans Andersen, sprang up in his mind as 
he looked at his picture. It wanted a name ; 
that of the fairy heroine would do — *'The 
Little Syren : " a dear little heroine she was ; 
and doubtless, thought Ralph, she had deep, 
pathetic eyes, like the sweet child in the 
picture. 



135 



CHAPTER IX. 

" Father," said Philip, sitting one evening 
with Mr Temple in his lodgings in Blooms- 
bury, " when you were a small boy, did you 
ever make a house with cards ? I will show 
you how I mean," taking up a pack that lay 
on the side-table, and which, by the way, was 
a secret eyesore to the clergyman. " I used 
to do it once. First two leaning together, 
so : the table is not slippery ; it is easily done. 
Then two covering the gap at the sides ; two 
at the ends ; two flat ones for a roof, — that is 
one storey ; on it another, and another, and 
another." There was at times an earnestness 
in Philip's manner when engaged in the most 
trivial occupation that compelled attention. 
Mr Temple leaned forward, watching him and 
quite excited about the card-house. Philip's 



136 A DREAMER. 

words fell from his lips with a melancholy 
incisiveness that showed he had a meaning. 
" There are four storeys ; it is a pretty little 
pagoda, and stands well on Mrs Brown's red 
table-cloth. I have not played this game since 
I was a little chap, but I can do it quite well. 
I mean I have not played at it with cards since 
then. One can build with other things too. 
If you give it the lightest touch, if you blow at 
it even, what happens ? See ! " Philip drew 
back as the heap of cards fell together on the 
table. 

-Well, Phil?" 

A pause. Philip gathered the cards to- 
gether and put them away. Then he drew 
a chair by the window, and leaning back in it, 
gazed out on the evening sky where it gleamed 
over the roofs of the opposite houses. His 
eyes filled with tears, but he spoke quietly — 

'' I heard of a man who built a house once 
— on the sand it was. It lasted till a storm 
came ; then it fell, and great was the fall of it. 
What do you suppose was the result for the 
man when his house fell ? " 



PRELIMINARY. 137 

" My boy ! " The voice and look touched 
Mr Temple's kind heart. 

" I think he was probably hurt," pursued 
Philip. '' He did not expect his house to fall, 
of course. He was most likely in it, and it 
crushed him. But he was not killed. It takes 
a great deal to kill a man. He scrambled out 
somehow, and his life went on as before. I 
daresay he built another house, and looked at 
the foundations better the second time.'' 

" My dear Phil, tell me what has happened," 
said Mr Temple. He supposed that, as usual, 
the boy's notions had landed him in some 
scrape. The father was not very anxious yet, 
for Philip evidently took the matter greatly to 
heart, and Mr Temple considered that he gen- 
erally showed most feeling over matters of 
comparatively little importance. 

*' Could you find me some work, do you 
think ? " said Philip, presently. " I don't care 
what it is, much." 

- Work, Philip ? " 

" Yes. I don't feel inclined to proceed with 
the Sanskrit at present. I will do any work 



138 A DREAMER. 

you like. Only don't make a quack of me," 
he added hastily, with a sudden fear that his 
assertion might be interpreted too literally. 

" All right, Phil. We'll look out for some- 
thing. What does Agnes say about all this ? " 

" Agnes ? " Philip's eyes seemed to be gaz- 
ing farther away than ever, as if they pierced 
the serene evening clouds. He raised his hand 
unconsciously and pointed. 

" What are you looking at ? " said Mr 
Temple, following the direction of his finger, 
and perceiving nothing ; " what do you see ? " 

" A forest," said Philip, turning and fix- 
ing his eyes on his father, who involuntarily 
started — this strange son of his was so unac- 
countable and irrelevant in his speech — '' and 
a man passing through it. The forest is dark 
and bewildering, and the man has lost his way. 
He is pursued by strange creatures and wild 
voices, and eyes staring at him." Philip shud- 
dered himself, and paused for a moment ; then 
he continued, smiling — '' That is the conven- 
tional beginning, is it not ? Can you guess 
what follows ? The man is going on, following 



PRELIMINARY. 139 

a rising path with a stream flowing beside and 
beneath it. The path leads westward. If he 
walks on, he thinks the sun will overtake him. 
There is a beautiful form waiting for him, with 
jewels flashing on her brow. She takes his 
hand to lead him. They go on together. He 
is following the same westward path, but he 
thinks it is she who is guiding him. The path 
is smooth now, edged with moss and flowers. 
Sometimes she drops a jewel, and he picks it 
up and treasures it. They are in the sunlight. 
It has overtaken him. He feels the light and 
the warmth, and calls on her to rejoice. But 
the sun has been too much for her : she is 
gone — melted — lost. He is alone. He has 
only the jewels left which she did not value. 
Yet he feels the sunshine. He cannot leave it. 
He is in the right path. He can't go back to 
find her, and she is vanished. She can't come 
to him — in the sunlight. Have you under- 
stood the parable, father ? " 

" No, my boy." Mr Temple tried to be 
patient and indulgent, but he thought his son 
uncommonly silly. 



140 A DREAMER. 

*' You are not a good hand at a parable, 
father, except the Gospel ones. But perhaps 
I expect too much from you. One can't open 
a lock without a key. I am apt to forget 
that. I have a way of fumbling at a lock, and 
poking it, and damaging it with knives and 
gimlets, all to no purpose. Your way is best, 
father, and you are not fond of fairy tales. 
Unless you are, you will never care to use the 
key, even if I give it to you." 

'' My dear Phil, don't trifle with yourself 
like this. Tell me what is the matter." 

" Nothing ; except that I have knocked 
down my card-house. The storm has over- 
whelmed my castle on the sand. My forest 
vision has melted under the strong rays of 
the sun. You must let me be your boy a 
little longer, my father. Agnes and I have 
parted." 

" Parted ? What do you mean ? You have 
not quarrelled ? " 

'* We have broken off our engagement." 

"What is the meaning of this?" said Mr 
Temple, almost sharply. 



PRELIMINARY. I4I 

Philip had become cold and indifferent in 
manner. 

" We disagreed." 

" You have annoyed her in some way." 

'' Exactly." 

" What have you been doing ? " Philip 
shrugged his shoulders. *' How have you 
displeased her ? " 

'' I told you : we disagreed." 

" About what ? " 

" It is not a point that concerns other 
people. I do not care to discuss it." 

*' I shall write to Agnes and ask her," said 
Mr Temple, hastily. 

*' I must request you to do nothing of the 
kind." 

" I meant" (again hastily, but apologeti- 
cally) '' I might smooth matters." 

" I do not wish them smoothed. Don't you 
know what a wise book says : ' Can two walk 
together except they be agreed ? ' " 

" My dear Philip, you could not expect 
any one in his senses always to agree with 
you." 



142 A DREAMER. 

" That Is precisely what Agnes said. So 
we parted." 

A few minutes' silence. Mr Temple was 
much pained and mortified. 

" I cannot believe," he said, at length, '' that 
Agnes would take offence about a trifle. You 
must have displeased her seriously. I hope, 
Philip, you have not forgotten " 

" I suppose," interrupted Philip, bitterly, *' it 
is possible that / may have seen cause for 
offence — that It may have been 7ny wish that 
we should part. I am not saying it Is so ; but 
I beg you will bear the possibility in mind 
before you make sweeping accusations against 
any one. I don't want to talk about it. Noth- 
ing can alfer matters now. Henceforth Agnes 
Mortimer and I are friends only." 

" Well, I am sorry for your disappoint- 
ment," said Mr Temple, a little grudgingly. 

'' I shall survive, I daresay/' said Philip, 
crossly ; '' that's enough about it." 

Poor Mr Temple was more puzzled by his 
son than ever. But he tried to hope that it 
was all for the best, — that it would be a lesson 



PRELIMINARY. I43 

to Philip. Perhaps, after all, he might make a 
wiser marriage later. He was not fit to marry 
an heiress ; all her money would be squan- 
dered in his projects. It was just as well for 
him that he would have to enter a profession, 
and face realities for a while. 

Unfortunately, however, Philip refused to 
work at anything but projects. He estab- 
lished himself in a diminutive house in Ken- 
sington, where he was attended by an old 
man and woman imported from Whitechapel. 
Here he studied Sanskrit, and smoked and 
dreamed and theorised to his heart's content. 
He collected a circle of friends around him, 
to whom he elaborated his favourite schemes, 
and who thought a great deal more of him 
than he probably deserved. Some of his pro- 
jects arrived at a certain amount of reality ; 
amongst others, one for building a model 
street in Whitechapel. He formed a com- 
pany for this purpose, and intended not only 
to reform the social condition of that part of 
London in which the street was to be situated, 
but to make the fortunes of the shareholders. 



144 A DREAMER. 

The scheme failed, of course, and PhiHp lost 
a good deal of money in consequence ; but he 
never lost his own faith in It. '' Of course, if 
people had no patience, schemes must fail. 
It would be seen some day that his plans 
were sensible enough in reality.'^ Notwith- 
standing this and many other failures, the 
attention of certain ardent public men was 
called to the visionary young theorist, who 
talked so persuasively, and who had so much 
good purpose in his projects. He had written 
two or three pamphlets expounding his views ; 
his fame was spread abroad by his friends ; 
he had dabbled in several social matters of 
interest and importance. Though often in 
these cases he had done nothing that could be 
termed in the least successful, he had always 
brought a new light to bear on the question at 
issue, that had charmed the well-meaning but 
uninventive people, who were working away, 
diligently but not dexterously, in a time-worn 
groove. In a few years Philip found himself 
a person of some importance, who received 
letters asking for suggestions, from members 



PRELIMINARY. I45 

of Parliament ; who was applied to for advice 
by the managers of societies ; whose commu- 
nications to the editor were always inserted 
in the * Times ; ' and who, above all, had 
established friendly relations with his poorer 
brethren in Whitechapel and Stepney. On 
the whole, he was well content, and his father 
and mother began to hope he might be a 
useful man some day. 

He had put matrimony out of his head for 
the present ; but the wound occasioned by his 
rupture with Agnes healed much sooner than 
he had expected. He discovered that he had 
been in love with a chimera ; and then he 
laughed at himself. When a man begins to 
laugh, he is on the high-road to recovery; and, 
consequently, Philip recovered straightway. 
Circumstances also contributed to this salutary 
result. Before a year was over, Agnes mar- 
ried somebody else. The fortunate somebody 
was the prosperous, the popular, the rising 
young man, Oliver Temple. 



VOL. I. K 



PART II 



FOR HENRY'S SAKE 



CHAPTER I. 

Nearly four years later: a sunny day towards 
the end of March ; five o'clock ; several per- 
sons sitting on the benches in Kensington 
Gardens, and shading their eyes from the 
level rays of sunlight ; — a man crossing the 
grass at a rapid pace, carrying a bag of 
sugar-plums in his hand. 

The man was Philip Temple ; the sugar- 
plums were for a little girl of about three 
years old, Lily by name — Agnes and Oliver's 
only child. Philip had a supper-party to-night 
in his little house at Kensington. Agnes and 
Oliver were among the guests ; Agnes had 
undertaken the duty of hostess. 

On one occasion when Philip had given a 
similar entertainment, his mother had been 
with him to sit at the head of his supper- 



150 A DREAMER. 

table. Mrs Temple did not enjoy herself: 
the whist - table alarmed her ; the prawns 
came at the wrong part of the meal, and 
the home - made brown bread was out of 
place ; Mr Donnlngton, the painter, smelt of 
tobacco ; Mr Lowestoft's comic songs were 
profane ; nobody cared for Sunday-schools or 
temperance meetings ; and she knew nothing 
of the last new novel, or the new tragic actor ; 
she had not been to the Handel festival ; she 
had not even heard the sensational Ritualistic 
Revivalist, Canon Girton of St Mark's, Wheat- 
ley Square. Mrs Temple thought there was 
too much noise ; that Philip talked a great 
deal of nonsense ; and that his friends were 
very queer - looking people. There was an 
old, threadbare coated, white - haired, blue- 
eyed foreigner, with a blind daughter, who 
played on the zither, and could speak no 
language Intelligible to Mrs Temple; there 
was a yellow man with limp hair, and long 
eyes turned up at the corners, with a pictur- 
esque, shy little wife dressed in numberless 
scarves of green and crimson and yellow. 



"FOR HENRYS SAKE. 151 

Ti-foo-chum-chun and his wife seemed quite 
intimate with Philip ; but Mrs Temple, who 
only thought of the heathen as subjects for 
missionaries, did not know how to conduct 
herself in such queer company, and was only 
too thankful when the evening was over. 

Philip laughed at her, and chose Agnes for 
his hostess next time. She liked everything 
and everybody, and was always ready to do 
what Philip wanted. 

" Phil is a bore," said Oliver, " and thinks 
too much of himself, and the men one meets 
are snobs." But he went nevertheless when 
Philip sent him an invitation. Agnes was 
determined to go ; and Agnes would not go 
without her husband. Oliver was growing 
rather fat and Indolent, and very aristocratic. 
People said his wife ruled him, and nobody 
took the trouble to correct the assertion. 
People also said that Philip was still a 
slave of that handsome Mrs Temple - Mor- 
timer. And again nobody took the trouble 
to contradict the assertion. '' People " were 
wrong In both instances. Agnes had not 



152 A DREAMER. 

the slightest power, except in trifles, over 
her husband or his cousin, who in old times 
had been her lover. She and Oliver ''got 
on" very well together, to all appearances. 
They may have been somewhat cold in 
manner, but then they were so exceed- 
ingly dignified. Neither of them had ever 
pretended to be exactly in love ; the motive 
of their marriage had not been deeper than 
mutual admiration. And Agnes and Philip 
were intimate though somewhat superficial 
friends : he was not in the least jealous of 
Oliver ; he was welcome at his house when- 
ever he chose to present himself; he was 
fond of Lily ; and he liked talking to Agnes 
on any light, unimportant, indifferent matter. 
He had not forgotten the past, but he hard- 
ly ever thought of it ; he had ceased to 
blame Agnes severely since her conduct had 
ceased to be an affair of his ; he did not 
trust or esteem her highly, but he liked 
her, and their easy cousinly relationship was 
decidedly pleasant. 

All this is a digression ; let us return to 



"FOR HENRYS SAKE. 153 

the tall, dark, somewhat grave young man 
whom we left hurrying across Kensington 
Gardens with the bag of sugar-plums in his 
hand (he had consumed two burnt almonds 
already : few persons under thirty could resist 
so very favourable a chance). 

Philip's attention was arrested by a person 
sittinof alone beneath an elm - tree — a little 
childish person, quaintly dressed in grey, and 
sternly defying fashion, then outrageous in 
crinoline; she had a pale, rather sad little 
face, and sat looking thoughtfully on the 
sunny trees and early flowers. It flashed 
across Philip's mind that he had somewhere 
seen this girl before, and he half hesitated 
as he passed her, and looked at her with a 
momentary glance of curiosity. The girl 
raised her eyes, suddenly meeting his glance, 
and embarrassing Philip, who felt himself 
caught in a rudeness. But the eirl started 
to her feet, holding out her hand eagerly, and 
advancing towards him. Only for a few steps, 
however ; Philip did not recognise her, and 
was startled and unresponsive. Then her 



154 A DREAMER. 

courage faded : she checked herself; the flush 
died from her cheek and the sparkle from her 
eye. She drew back, saying quiveringly — 

'' I beg your pardon. I shouldn't have done 
that. I thought I knew you — that was all." 

Philip's chivalry was aroused, for the child 
was evidently ashamed of her impulsiveness. 

** Don't be sorry," he said, smiling ; *' we 
are old friends, are we not ? My name is 
Temple," he went on ; " Philip Temple." 

'' Yes, that is what I thought," said the girl : 
" thank you ; please forgive me ; " and still she 
was turning away, but with so much contrition 
that Philip detained her. 

" Why do you go ? We are old friends, and 
may be allowed to speak to each other for a 
few minutes." 

" Yes, but you don't know who I am. You 
have forgotten Griselda." 

"Ah!" said Philip, the name recalling a 
long-unopened page in his history. 

'' Please let me go," said Griselda Mortimer. 

** No, no," answered Philip, who had taken 
her hand ; *' I remember you very well now. 



" FOR HENRY S SAKE. ;I55 

It was stupid of me to forget. You are not 
much changed." 

" Of course I am changed," said she, gravely. 
" I was only a little girl then." 

" You are not much more now," said Philip, 
who thought she was about fifteen. " Do you 
know the gardener s lodge down there ? The 
tulips and hyacinths are splendid. Let us go 
and see them." They walked along silently, the 
tears running unheeded down the child's face. 

" Why do you cry ? " Philip ventured pres- 
ently, when they had isolated themselves by 
the little garden. 

" I'm not crying," said Griselda, with sudden 
anger, making her reply a true one, for the 
flash of her eyes seemed to burn up the tears, 
and she looked at him defiantly with perfect 
calm. *' I am going home now," she said pres- 
ently, Philip having made no second remark 
after this flat contradiction. 

" Not yet," said he. *' Are you not going 
to speak to me ? Why did you run out at me 
then ? " 

'' Of course I wish I had not done it," she 



156 A DREAMER. 

cried ; " I hadn't time to think. I can't think 
in a hurry, and yet one has to act in a hurry ; 
that is why I am always making mistakes. I 
didn't want you, as it turned out ; but I might 
have wanted you, and while I was thinking 
if I did or not, you would have been gone. 
Good-bye, Mr Temple." 

" You cannot walk home by youself/' said 
Philip. " You must let me go with you." 

- What for ? " 

" To take care of you," said Philip, lecturing 
her, as one naturally lectures a child. " You 
should not come to such a public place by 
yourself." 

" Why not, please ? " 

'' Well, I don't know. Ladies don't gener- 
ally," said Philip. 

Griselda paused ; then she said gravely, " I 
am not a lady then, I suppose. I am only a 
singer.'' 

" Oh, for that matter, a housemaid may be 
a lady, of course," said Philip. 

" That is not what you began about," said 
Griselda. Philip was reduced to silence. 



"FOR henry's sake." 157 

" Why shouldn't I take care of myself ? " said 
the girl, who was always shaken by disap- 
proval. 

" You are too little to go about alone," said 
Philip, shrugging his shoulders, ''and too 
pretty." 

It was not a polite speech, but he told him- 
self it was for her good. Griselda's eyes 
flashed. She turned her head away indig- 
nantly and would have left him. Philip was 
vexed with her — she with him. 

" As we have met," he said, " I should like 
to have heard a little about you — where you 
are living, and what you are doing." 

She turned round, and answered gravely, 
" I live with papa, of course, and I go on 
learning to sing. I am to begin at the Opera 
when I am eighteen — that will be In less than 
three months. I have nothing more to say. 
Now will you please tell me the shortest way 
to the Marble Arch." She spoke coldly, and 
was evidently offended. 

" May I not come to show 3^ou ? " said 
Philip, more meekly now that he knew her 



158 A DREAMER. 

age, but more than ever convinced that she 
ought to be protected. Griselda said nothing, 
and he walked solemnly beside her, neither of 
them speaking. She threaded her way with 
great coolness between the thronging vehicles 
in Oxford Street, as they crossed it near the 
Marble Arch. They turned down Wigmore 
Street, and crossed Cavendish Square. At 
Maroraret Street she turned aofain to the left, 
and presently stopped at the door of an un- 
inviting house in a narrow street. Griselda 
mounted the three little steps and held out 
her hand. 

" Good-bye," she said, '* and thank you." 
Her brown eyes looked soft and kindly now. 
Philip was emboldened to say — 

'* I live in London also. May I not come 
to see you some day?" 

'' Perhaps," said Griselda, doubtfully. '' I 
mean, perhaps I will let you in. I don't 
know." 

*' I will take my chance." 

"In the morning is best," said Griselda; 
'' but I don't know if I will let you in." 



" FOR HENRY S SAKE. 159 

He turned away thoughtfully, hailed a pass- 
ing hansom, and drove home with his sugar- 
plums. 

That evening Philip told Agnes about 
Griselda, and found she had not known of 
her being in London. Agnes did not seem 
particularly interested In her cousin. On the 
following morning, however, Mrs Temple- 
Mortimer said to Oliver — 

" I hear Griselda is living in London. I 
Intend to ask her here." 

*' Why, my dear ? " 

"It Is very important that we should be 
kind to her." 

" I suppose you think we owe her some- 
thing," said Oliver, who had extracted his 
wife's secret from her own lips six months 
after their marriage. 

" I choose to be civil," said Agnes. 

" One doesn't want actresses in and out of 
the house." 

** She Is quite a lady," said Agnes. 

" A lady of a confoundedly vehement 
temper." 



l6o A DREAMER. 

*' It suits her style ; there is nothing unlady- 
like in her manner or temper." 

" You can't call your precious uncle a 
gentleman/^ 

*' I said nothing about inviting him." 

'' You had better not invite him. I hate 
snobs.'' 

*' I daresay Griselda is more like other 
people now," said Agnes ; " and as to her 
singing, it is an advantage. We must keep 
up our character for good music." 

'' Oh, if you make a singing girl of her, it is 
a different thinor. You need not hawk her 
about as a relation. But she'll never be much 
of a singer.'' 

" I think she will. I consider her voice 
lovely." 

*' She's beginning too young to be any 
good, and she hasn't the nerve and the 
brass for it." 

*' You seem to know a great deal about her." 

" I heard her sing at a rehearsal the other 
day." 

*' Why didn't you tell me ? " said Agnes, 



''FOR HENRYS SAKE." l6l 

annoyed. " You are hard to please, Oliver. 
Pray, is brass an attraction ? " 

*' A person ought to be one thing or another, 
not a sham lady or a bad singer." 

" She is quite a lady," repeated Agnes. " It 
is only her position that is against her. Her 
position is not her fault." 

'' Whose fault is it ? Ours ? " 

Agnes did not answer this question. " You 
can't deny that she is very pretty, Oliver," she 
said. 

'' For that style. I don't admire her. I 
hke a tall, handsome woman, like you, my 
dear." 

It was a rudely-presented compliment, and 
Agnes left him — knowing, however, that she 
would be allowed her own way about Griselda. 
Oliver let her do as she liked in trifles. 

When Agnes Mortimer had married Oliver 
Temple, she had had a definite plan for her 
life in her own mind. She meant to become a 
very good woman. It is true, she had begun 
with a mistake, or a sin, if you prefer calling 
it so ; but Agnes had no objection to whited 

VOL. I. L 



l62 A DREAMER. 

sepulchres. If ghosts were to rise from them, 
she could shut her eyes ; and doubtless the 
Scripture was mistaken which condemned the 
sewing of new cloth on an old garment. She 
believed her husband to be a very estimable 
man, not so crotchety as that poor dear Philip, 
but as truthful and honourable as the ordinary 
English gentleman — better than herself, Agnes 
hoped In her heart. Then he found out her 
secret, and Instead of testifying horror at It, 
treated her conduct as a matter of course, 
entering Into the plot with her, and only 
making one stipulation, that she was to keep 
absolute silence on the matter to every one. 
Agnes had neither power nor Inclination to 
resist, but from this moment she hated her 
husband. A crisis In her life was over : she 
had bound herself Irrevocably to her sin ; she 
had entered Into a plot to sustain a fraud ; she 
had an accomplice ; she had confessed herself 
an Impostor. The consciousness of all this 
was very bitter, for Agnes had not lost all 
reverence for truth and justice. She felt her- 
self changed. From henceforth she abandoned 



" FOR henry's sake." 163 

all idea of becoming a good woman — improve- 
ment was impossible. The most now left to 
her was to seem good to other people. And 
from henceforth she no longer tried to love 
and respect her husband. He was a liar and 
an impostor too. She hated him for the thing 
she almost hated in herself But she con- 
tinued to be in appearance a dutiful and affec- 
tionate wife. Mr and Mrs Temple-Mortimer 
were universally liked and commended. If 
they had a skeleton in their cupboard, its pres- 
ence was unsuspected by their friends and 
neighbours. 



i64 



CHAPTER II. 

A FEW mornings afterwards, Philip made his 
way again to the dingy house in the narrow 
street where Griselda Mortimer lived. The 
bell was answered by herself. She started on 
seeing him, and drew back. 

'' I thought it was the baker," she said, 
colouring, and keeping her hand on the 
latch. 

" You know you told me to come in the 
morning," explained Philip, apologetically. 

" I know I did, but " 

'' Never mind. Miss Mortimer," said Philip, 
helping her ; *' I happened to be passing, and 
having no umbrella, suffered such anxiety from 
that black cloud, that I stopped to get an 
opinion about it. Give me one quickly. Is 
it going to rain ? " 



i6s 

'' Yes," answered Griselda ; *' a shower. 
Come in, as you are afraid of the rain." 

'' But I am not. I was only tortured by un- 
certainty in my own mind. You have settled 
the question for me. I am content." 

" I should like to see you. Please come in." 

Philip followed her up the stairs. " I am 
afraid you are letting m^ intrude, Miss Mor- 
timer," he said. 

How pretty Griselda was in her print frock 
like a housemaid's, tucked up at one side over 
a crimson petticoat, and covered in front with 
a white apron ! Her abundant hair was hidden 
away as much as possible, giving her a demure 
look that seemed the prettiest affectation. She 
looked at him gravely. 

" Why do you say Miss Mortimer to 
me?" 

"Are you not Miss Mortimer?" said Philip, 
who could not divest himself of the idea that 
she was a mere child. It seemed a pretty 
affectation to call her Miss Mortimer, like her 
own demureness. 

" I suppose I am," said Griselda, sitting 



l66 A DREAMER. 

down composedly, but with an expression of 
sadness stealingr over her face. 

-Well?" 

*' I had rather you said Griselda. So few 
people call me by my own name, and I like it 
best. It feels then as if I belonged to some 
one and was a real person. When I am only 
Miss Mortimer, I feel like a thing." 

"Well, I will call you Griselda. I like it 
much better." 

Philip wondered if he were looking at her 
too much. He turned his eyes to survey the 
room. It was small and dark ; the furniture 
was old and meagre, but there was a piano, 
of course, and on the wall hung an oil-painting 
— a fair copy of a celebrated picture. Philip 
went over and looked at it. 

" Your father painted this ? " 

*' Yes ; he gave it to me. It is my favourite 
picture in Florence." 

" It is a good copy," said Philip, with much 
candour ; " it is a pity your father does not 
keep to this style, I think." 

" You mean copying good pictures instead of 



"FOR HENRY'S SAKE." 167 

inventing bad ones ? I think that too, only it 
applies to so many people." 

" Curates, &c," said Philip, smiling. 

*' But I know the feeling," said Griselda, 
warmly, " that makes one love best what one 
has made one's self. I have a great many beau- 
tiful songs, but I love none of them so much 
as the poor little tunes I invent myself" 

" Oh, it is a g^rand thinor to invent ! " said 
Philip; " I delight in it. I invented a machine 
once. It wasn't a particularly good one, and 
some other man had found it out long ago. 
No matter, I invented it. Let me glory in it, 
and — keep it to myself" 

** When we love a thing very much, we fancy 
other people must love it too," said Griselda. 
" When I read a stupid book or sing an ugly 
song, it makes me sad. I hear the wailing 
of the disappointed writer who thought it so 
beautiful." 

"• Do you?" said Philip, leaning towards her; 
"so do I. I have an intense sympathy with 
stupid people, and ugly people, and slighted 
people. They are almost always disappointed, 



l68 A DREAMER. 

or else they will be disappointed. Why, I 
myself, Griselda, once fancied I was a genius, 
and dally expected to develop Into the beauty 
of an Apollo. I know something of disap- 
pointment." 

She looked up sympathetically, surprising 
Philip, who had spoken In jest. " I remem- 
ber," said Griselda, "you were disappointed 
about Agnes." 

" I have recovered from that," said Philip, 
gravely. 

'' Why did not you marry Agnes ? '^ asked 
Griselda, innocently. " I beg your pardon," 
she added presently, as Philip made no answer. 
" I did not mean to ask anything rude. But I 
have always felt so sorry about It. You used 
to seem so happy. I think you were the first 
really happy people I had seen, and I was 
always thinking about you. It seemed a sort 
of Ideal frame of mind that I had not met with 
In real life before. I enjoyed it so much, and 
yet It all came to nothing. You can't think 
how I cried about you when I heard," she 
said, laughing. 



" FOR henry's sake." 169 

'' Did you, Griselda ? That was very good 
of you. But I am afraid you were too sym- 
pathetic. I got over it pretty soon." 

" Did you ? I can't help being sorry. It is 
fooHsh, perhaps ; but I can't help liking people 
who are really " She hesitated. 

*' Constant, Griselda ? But people make mis- 
takes sometimes, and fall in love with the 
wrong person. Then as they get wiser and 
better they grow out of it, and it is a mercy if 
they have not made an irretrievable mistake, 
and bound themselves already, in what ought 
to be bands of affection, to the wrong person." 

" I see," said Griselda, very thoughtfully ; 
" and as Agnes did not really care for you 
— she married so soon after ' — it did not 
matter ? " 

" How do you mean 'matter'? If Agnes 
had broken her heart for me, I should have 
been very sorry ; but it could not have altered 
my decision." 

" But surely the other person's feelings would 
make a difference ? It is so terrible to make 
people unhappy ! " 



I/O A DREAMER. 

*' In some cases It would make a difference, 
no doubt." 

"It would make a difference," she went on, 
*' in mere cases of liking. One could not 
break a person's heart merely to please one's 
self. But if there was some question of right 
and wrong, I suppose It would not make a 
difference. Oh how dreadful It would be!" 
she said, clasping her hands. 

*' You have stated the case exactly right," 
said Philip, gravely. He liked her view of 
things. 

*' That was what you had to do, then ? " 
she said, softly. 

*' Yes ; I suppose It was. But you see I 
did not break any one's heart," he added, 
smilinof. 

" I am glad you think people can get over 
disappointments of that sort," said Griselda. 

*' Why ? A minute ago you were angry 
with me for having done so." Griselda smiled. 

'' Because you destroyed a little ideal I had 
formed of your faithfulness. But now I was 
thinkinof of somethino- else." 



" FOR HENRY S SAKE. 171 

" A penny for your thoughts, then. You 
can refuse to give them if you Hke, as I did 
not answer your inquisitive question." 

'' Oh, please, I did not mean to be inquisi- 
tive." 

" I know you did not. But I am inquisitive 
as to your thoughts." 

*' It seems a queer thing to tell you, but 
I don't know why I should not. It is only 
there is some one who was foolish enough to 
want me to marry him. I can't bear him to be 
unhappy, and I should like to think that, as 
he gets wiser and better, he will get over it." 

Philip was amused by this simple reply. 
'' I thought young ladies liked to keep their 
admirers," he said. She coloured. 

" Please do not talk to me so. I should 
never like to make any one unhappy." There 
was a moment's pause. Philip was interest- 
ed in her. Suddenly she exclaimed, startling 
him, '' I hate that talk about ' admirers.' It 
is horrid. As if one wanted to be admired /" 

" You frighten me ! I like to be admired 

o 

very much. But then / don't get much chance 



172 A DREAMER. 

of being admired." Philip was elaborately 
pointing a pencil ; but he raised his eyes 
to her pretty face and smiled as he spoke. 
Griselda rose, her whole face flushed and her 
lips quivering. 

'* Don't," she cried. Philip rose also, startled 
and penitent, and trying to remember what he 
had said to offend her. 

" Forgive me," he said, apologetically ; *' I 
was only jesting. What was it I said ? " he 
added, amused at her consternation, and con- 
scious of innocence. 

Griselda sat down again, and said, very 
gravely, *' If you had heard as much as I 
have about being admired, and the advan- 
tages of beauty — such advantages as I hear 
of — you would not wish to be admired. You 
would wish to be ugly, as I do sometimes." 

Philip felt ashamed of his trifling frame 
of mind. Her evident pain rebuked him. 
*' There are real advantages in beauty too, 
Griselda," he said, with some awkwardness. 

" I know there are," she replied, with quiet 
dignity. *' Ah ! if people — if you — would 



" FOR henry's sake." 173 

remind one of those — not of the sham ones ! 
There are real advantages in all beauty, 
whether it is in nature or in art. I love my 
art, though I cannot bear the way I have to 
spend my time at it." 

" I am afraid I don't exactly understand you." 

'' I love music more than anything in the 
world ; yet the thought of this life terrifies 
me. Have you ever thought what it must 
be to stand up and sing before a crowd of 
people ? " 

" You are nervous, Griselda : you will get 
over that." 

'' I am not talking of that. I shall never 
get over the feeling I mean. It isn't that I 
am afraid of singing badly ; it is the thought 
of singing at all — in that way. I know very 
well what I am talking about. I have sung 
several times at concerts and in drawing- 
rooms where there have been numbers of 
people. It is horrible. It is like being 
scorched. To stand up before a crowd of 
persons and show oif, it makes my heart 
stop beating ! " 



174 A DREAMER. 

She hid her face in her hands, partly 
ashamed of her excitement, partly anxious to 
hide the tears that had come with a sudden 
rush. Philip was too much moved by her 
distress to reply. He came a little nearer, 
and would, as a tribute of respect, have 
touched her hand, had it been at liberty ; 
but it was pressed tightly against her brow. 
Her little frame was shaken with sobs. Pres- 
ently she stammered, crossly now — 

'' I wish you would not make me cry. Why 
do you, when you know I hate it ? " 

*' Griselda, you poor child ! tell me, is there 
nothing I can do for you ? " 

She looked up through her tears. " Yes, 
there is something. I will tell you. The 
first night will be the worst ; but if my friends 
will come and listen, it will not be quite so 
bad. Will you come ? If I know I have 
some friends watching me, it will help me. 
I shall feel more like a person — less like a 
thing, a toy. Papa will come. I have one very 
great friend who will come ; and Agnes, my 
cousin, she w411 be there, perhaps. Will you 



" FOR henry's sake." 175 

remember ? because you are my old friend. 
I may call you that, mayn't I ? " she added, 
shyly. 

" I will come, Griselda, my old friend," said 
Philip. 

Just then the door opened, and a little 
servant came in with a query about " Master's 
dinner." She was a London girl, probably 
captured in Clerkenwell. Her face was sal- 
low, her back round, and her dress dirty ; 
but her hair, or rather her frizzettes, was elab- 
orately arranged in the height of last year's 
fashion. 

*' That is Elizabeth," explained Griselda, as 
the door closed; and seeing a smile on Philip's 
lips, the cause of which she mistook, she add- 
ed, angrily, " Why do you laugh at Elizabeth ? 
She is a very good girl, and works so hard. 
I wonder if you are ever half so tired when 
you go to bed as she is ? " 

Then Griselda sent Philip away, but not 
before he had said, '' I. may come again, 
Griselda, may I not ? " 

*' Oh, please do!" she cried; "I have so 



176 A DREAMER. 

few friends. I have been so glad to see 
you again. ^^ 

Philip walked back to Kensington, saying 
to himself that she was a little tangled mass of 
contradictions, and that she had a sweet little 
face. 

Her " Oh, please do ! " had been so warm, 
that Philip ventured to repeat his visit before 
very many days had passed. 

This time he found '' her very great friend " 
with her. He and Philip recognised each 
other. 

" ?Iallo, Lindsay ! " 

'' How do you do, Temple ? '' 

It was about five o'clock, and Griselda in- 
sisted on making some tea for her visitors. 
She flashed in and out of the room, bringing 
the cups herself, boiling the kettle, and pro- 
ducing some radishes and mustard and cress. 
It was a merry little meal. Griselda was in 
high spirits, and she and Ralph combined to 
make Philip welcome and amused. 

Griselda and Ralph were great friends. 
They called each other by their Christian 



" FOR HEN.RY S SAKE." 177 

names, and appeared to have all sorts of 
private little jokes and interests. Ralph 
followed her about with his eyes, full of un- 
concealed interest and admiration. Griselda 
apparently tyrannised somewhat over him, but 
he seemed no unwilling slave. Occasionally, 
when her eyes fell on him, a look of tender 
compunction stole over her face, ^s if she 
thought she were teasing him, and felt sorry 
for it. Philip was a little perplexed by the 
relationship between them. 

After tea, she sat down to the piano, and 
sang as often as they asked and whatever they 
liked. Philip, listening to her, felt himself car- 
ried back to the enchanted land whither she 
had once wafted him in her childhood. The 
promise of her early singing had been ful- 
filled : its purity and simplicity remained ; but 
her eighteen years had given to her voice a 
strength and richness only to be guessed at 
when Philip had heard her last. Evidently 
singing was a delight to her ; her cheek 
glowed and her eyes shone with the rapture 
of a St Cecilia. 

VOL. I. M 



178 



CHAPTER III. 

A MONTH passed. Much may happen In a 
month ; and much had happened in this par- 
ticular month. 

Agnes had sought her little cousin, and 
patronised her affectionately. Oliver admitted 
that she had Improved in appearance. Philip 
saw her frequently. And, what was more 
Important than all this, Ralph Lindsay and 
Philip had struck up a friendship. 

I have said before that Philip had always 
fascinated Ralph, and the prejudice the latter 
had entertained against him, though strong, 
had been rather forced. During the four 
years that had passed since Ralph had gone 
to Holland, his history had been simple, and 
on the whole happy. Four such years tend 
to soften prejudices, and allow green grass to 



179 

grow upon new-made graves. When Ralph 
met Philip again at Griselda's little tea-table, 
the past flashed before his mind, and he told 
himself that it was this man who had ruined 
and betrayed poor Henry ; but he told him- 
self also that explanation and repentance were 
possible for all that, and he determined to 
give Temple the benefit of the possibility. 
A month passed, and I suppose Philip gave 
Ralph the explanation, and convinced him of 
the repentance. At any rate, Ralph Lindsay's 
eyes fell on him now with entire confidence, 
and even affection. 

Ralph's was eminently a receptive nature. 
He recognised and appreciated in others num- 
berless qualities which in himself existed only 
in the rudimentary stage. He never, perhaps, 
originated anything ; but no one was quicker 
to perceive the original and to delight in it. 
Philip, on the other hand, was all imagination ; 
he wanted some one on whom he could pour 
the mass of bewildering, chaotic, uncontrol- 
lable fancies that his own head was hardly 
strong enough to contain. He needed some 



l8o A DREAMER. 

one to respond to his touch, as Griselda's piano 
responded to the harmonies she poured into it. 
The two natures, PhiHp's and Ralph's, feh 
themselves complementary at once ; and when 
barriers to frank intercourse had been mutu- 
ally removed, confidence and intimacy were 
established between them. 

Ralph was continually in the little house in 
Kensington, and often outstayed even young 
Winthrop the rising poet, or Donnington the 
melancholy painter, or the boy Lynton Roth- 
bury, a half-mad young scapegrace, with a wild 
gipsy nature and more than a touch of genius, 
who worshipped Philip, and would have gone 
through purgatory unflinchingly for a touch 
of his somewhat careless hero's hand. Philip 
was a little bored by some of these enthusiastic 
disciples of his : they were rather disappoint- 
ing on long intimacy, wonderfully like the rest 
of the world in many ways, but wanting the 
common-sense which Philip had once despised, 
and for which he now began to pine. A great 
many of them were excellent theorists and 
very faulty practitioners ; and Philip, with his 



"FOR henry's sake." i8i 

craving for the Impossible, lost his temper in 
turn with each of them. He secretly feared 
that many of them were but quacks after all, 
and he welcomed Ralph Lindsay, a sensible, ap- 
preciative, ennobling sort of fellow, who looked 
out upon the world through no coloured glass. 

Ralph's story during the last four years can 
be given in a few lines. He did his work well 
and prospered, winning the confidence of his 
employers. He never lost sight of Griselda 
after the day on which he had drawn her por- 
trait from memory ; he watched over her with 
a tender brotherly interest, " for Henry's sake." 
Not always and only for Henry's sake, how- 
ever. As Griselda grew older, a new Idea 
entered his mind, which she unconsciously 
encouraged in the simple, confiding, sisterly 
love she sfave him. As a child she had been 
" his little sister:" when she was seventeen she 
still named him '' her brother Ralph." 

One day Griselda was lamenting over her 
hard fate in having to enter a life she dreaded 
and hated. 

" Don't do It, Griselda," said Ralph, with 



1 82 A DREAMER. 

beating heart. *' I will save you from it. Come 
to me. Be my little wife." 

Griselda flung him from her ; then burst 
Into tears, and cried all night for him. 

*' Oh, Ralph, what did you say such a thing 
for ? I couldn't do it. I couldn't marry you. 
I don't want to marry any one. Why do you 
make me hurt you like this ? We were so 
happy. You have spoiled everything now. 
You have robbed me of my friend. It will 
never be the same again." 

The words sound selfish, but not so did the 
tone In which they were uttered. Griselda 
was thinking of him, not of herself. 

Presently Ralph raised a disappointed face, 
trying to be cheerful. 

*' Never mind, Griselda. Don't be unhappy 
about me. I ought not to have asked you. 
You must forget all about it, and never think 
of it again. We will be brother and sister 
still, and as happy as we used to be. Then 
it will be all right." 

'' No, it won't be the same," said Griselda. 
'' Could you forget ? " 



" FOR henry's sake." 183 

" Oh yes, I'll try to forget. You will forget. 
We will never say a word about it again, my 
little sister, and we shall be friends for the rest 
of our lives." 

And so the intimacy between them, w^hich 
Philip found existing when he entered into 
their friendship, was a tolerably successful 
copy of the frank, unconscious intimacy which 
had been before this unlucky proposal had 
frightened Griselda and disappointed Ralph. 

One evening Ralph and Philip were sitting 
alone over some coffee in Philip's little room 
in Kensington. The windows were open, 
and there was no light from lamp or candle. 
Philip leaned back in a low chair, his hands 
behind his head, and his eyes far away on 
the moon - illumined clouds. He was astride 
a hobby, of course. 

" I suspect we know very little about ani- 
mals. Of course my dog here" (the sleepy 
Duke of Wellington responded to his master's 
little kick by two slow thumps of his tail on 
the floor) " may have no other business in life 
than to stalk about the streets after me, but I 



1 84 A DREAMER. 

don't consider that proved. He may have 
some entirely private business that I don't 
appreciate because I don't perceive It. I see 
that the poor dear fellow has very little in- 
tellect of my sort ; but how do I know he 
has no other of his own particular sort, which, 
again, I don't appreciate because I don't per- 
ceive It ? There Is no common medium be- 
tween us to enable me to perceive It, just 
as one can't hear In a vacuum. Imagine a 
man who not only was blind and deaf, but 
who had no conception that there were such 
facts as seeing and hearing, — would he not 
fall to appreciate, because he failed to per- 
ceive, lots of people's businesses in life ? I 
think some theory of that kind is necessary 
to account for the prodigality of animal life 
upon the globe — the countless varieties of It. 
You say all these beasts are merely Inhabit- 
ants for the world ? I hope I have a higher 
mission In life than to inhabit the world only. 
Then why not earwigs also ? I suspect we 
see some traces of intellects of a different 
order amone such creatures as bees and ants. 



" FOR henry's sake/' 185 

When I talk of intellects of a different order, 
I don't exactly express what I mean. I mean 
something replacing Intellect, equal or Inferior 
or superior, as It may be, to It, but entirely 
different. Something we have no means of 
conceiving. We are so fond of supposing 
the type we know to be the only one, and 
that other organisms differ from It In degree, 
not In kind." 

'' I don't see that your hypothesis commends 
itself to one naturally," said Ralph. 

*' But I think It does. Look, you start with 
the assumption — let everything be the same 
unless we can prove It to be different. I start 
— and I really think more reasonably — with 
the opposite assumption, — let all things be 
different unless we can prove them to be the 
same." 

" Well, I quite agree with you that we 
know very little about other creatures. We 
misunderstand those of our own kind often 
enough." 

"It may very well be, at any rate in some 
Instances, from our own deficiency in the par- 



1 86 A DREAMER. 

ticular branch of intellect that in them has led 
to the particular speech or action we misunder- 
stand. I have been writing something lately, 
by the way, to reconcile this idea with the 
new scientific doctrines. Shall I show it to 
you : 

** By all means. Are you going to publish 
it?" 

*' Certainly not. It is bad enough to be 
called a fool by my own circle ; but by the 
universe at large ! Besides, it is mere guess- 
work. Heaven preserve the world from an 
inundation of guesses ! " 

" Talking of understanding people," said 
Ralph, after a pause — *' do you quite under- 
stand Griselda's intense love for music and 
intense aversion to singing in public ? " Philip 
brought his eyes down from the stars to 
Ralph's face. He answered presently — 

'' Yes, thoroughly. She feels it a degrada- 
tion of her singing." 

" But it is not really so," said Ralph. 

*' I am not quite sure. It ought not to be 
so, of course." 



'' FOR henry's sake." 187 

" She will get over It, I hope," said Ralph. 
Again a pause. 

'' Yes, she will get over it, I suppose ; but 
let me tell you something. If she gets over 
it, her comfortableness will be increased, but 
at the cost of spoiling a bit of her nature. To 
cut off a feeling is as much mutilation as to 
cut off an arm." 

*' But I think feelings run mad sometimes, 
when they Interfere with the performance of 
obvious duty." 

" Hum ! I am not prepared to answer that 
remark to-night. I feel a reply within me, 
not yet come to the birth — a week hence, if 
you please." 

*' Some people feel too much," said Ralph, 
pushing his advantage while he had it. 

'' Oh no, f/iey dontl' cried Philip; " that Is not 
it. Wait for a week. Talk of something else." 

The old Whitechapel man had brought In 
the lamp, and lighted up the cosy room and 
the young master thereof, who looked almost 
too much at his ease In the low chair with his 
hands behind his head. 



1 88 A DREAMER. 

" Why don't you marry ? " asked Ralph, 
lauofhlnof. 

o o 

'* I ! Marry ? Why should I upset my 
life ? Do you suppose my wife would not 
scent out the smell of tobacco in all the rooms, 
and banish my best pipes ? " 

" It's such a jolly little house," said Ralph, 
enviously. 

" Very, for one person. I can't stow away 
my father and mother without a positive revolu- 
tion, and I don't know how many charwomen." 

Ralph laughed. " One's parents take more 
room than other people," he said, thinking 
of his own father, the stout and ponderous 
doctor, and his mother, a gentle dependent 
woman, who always seemed to carry more 
shawls and bandboxes than any one else. 
" Have you never thought of marrying, 
Temple ? " 

'' You saw last night a lady I once thought 
of marrying." 

** That was a foolish Idea," said Ralph ; " I 
fancy you would not fit the big house in May- 
fair as well as this little den." 



" FOR henry's sake/' 189 

** True enough : that affair was an illusion 
from which I waked up a wiser and a sadder 
man, and — a bachelor." 

" But, seriously, have you never thought of 
marrying since ? " 

"Seriously and candidly, often." 

" What's wanting ? " The conversation was 
becoming interesting. When thou and I, O 
my friend, sit tete-a-tete at eventide, the con- 
versation, to be really interesting, must concern 
thee or me. 

" The lady," answered Philip. 

" Have you never seen her ?" 

" I have seen several who would do for a 
day ; a few who would do for a week ; none 
who would do for a life." 

'' I don't understand that way of falling in 
love and out again," said Ralph, severely. 

" Lindsay, my friend," answered Philip, '' you 
are not so many-sided as I am : you don't see 
all round a person as I do ; you don't violently 
dislike and like the same person. Likewise, 
you have the security against rash affections, 
of a previous attachment." 



IQO A DREAMER. 

" How do you know I have a previous 
attachment ? " asked Ralph, colouring. 

'' It is tolerably obvious," said Philip ; *' I 
perceived it at once. Forgive me If It was 
meant to be a secret.'' 

Ralph did not reply directly. Then he 
said — 

" Thanks for the hint. I hope every one 
is not so sharp as you. But I will be more 
circumspect in the future. It is meant to be 
a secret." 

'' Having got so far, you may as well tell me 
the history," said Philip. 

*' There Is nothing to tell, except that it Is 
hopeless." 

'' Hopeless ! I think not." 

'' Quite hopeless. I have promised never to 
speak of it again." 

*' Don't keep your promise. Look here, 
Lindsay : she is a mere child ; she does not 
know her own heart. I know how she speaks 
of you behind your back. Ask her again In a 
year or two, when she has seen a little more 
of the world." 



*' FOR henry's sake." IQI 

" When she has seen more people, I shall 
have still less chance," said Ralph. 

" No : the people she is likely to see will 
teach her your value." 

" She will see many excellent people," said 
Ralph, offended. 

*' None better or truer than yourself, my dear 
fellow ; none whom she will like better. Mark 
my prophecy." 

'' No ; she does not really care for me. I 
have given it up. Child as she is, I should 
gladly see her married to any worthy, honour- 
able man who would save her from the sorrows 
and difficulties before her." 

'' Would you really ? " said Philip, smil- 
ing. 

*' I should," Ralph answered, earnestly. '' I 
should be jealous, of course : that little pain 
would be swallowed up in the pleasure of 
seeing her happy and cared for. If I could 
be sure of the man " 

" You shall be the man yourself. I tell you, 
I know what she thinks of you." 

'' Are you really speaking in earnest ? " said 



192 A DREAMER. 

Ralph, with a mien of so much added cheer- 
fulness that Philip drew back. 

''I am ; but don't suppose I am infallible. 
I may interpret the little lady all wrong — 
but ask her again in a little while. That is 
my advice.^' 

'' Ah, if I could believe you were right ! 
Are you sure you don't want her yourself? I 
would give her to you, Temple." 

" My dear fellow, if I had not been a similar 
fool myself, and fancied that every person must 
desire a certain young lady because I desired 
her, I should laugh at you heartily. I tell you, 
I will dance at your wedding with unmitigated 
cheerfulness." 

''My blessings upon you for the hope you 
have suggested to me," cried Ralph; "and 
you will marry yourself some day, I suppose. 
Then again my good luck to you." 

" I shall do no such thing. Think of a third 
pair of eyes watching us now, and haunting my 
steps all day, and a squalling nursery overhead." 

" I can imagine no higher earthly blessed- 
ness," said Ralph. 



''FOR HENRYS SAKE." 193 

" Nor I," returned Philip, gravely. 

A month had done great things for these 
two, had it not ? And now a word of explana- 
tion. Perhaps you think Philip Temple was 
uncharacteristically frank in this talk with one 
who, after all, was a new and an untried friend. 
If so, remember that it is very easy to be frank 
and very hard to be perfectly sincere about 
negations. 

Philip had not fallen in love with Griselda, 
then. He continually found his way to the 
little house near Margaret Street, and when 
there, he scarcely took his eyes off the young 
girl for a moment, or thought of any one but 
herself. When she sang to him he listened as 
in a dream, losinor all sense of time in the 
delight of the moment, and awaking to return- 
ing consciousness with a start that was almost 
painful. But he never thought of her but as 
a pretty child who interested him more than 
most children. He felt a protective sympathy 
with her that soon grew^ into a species of ap- 
propriation. She was a little waif tossed over 
to his side by the east wind, and it was his 

VOL. I. N 



194 A DREAMER. 

business to watch over her, guide her, help 
her, till he could place her in some hands not 
less secure than his own. She belonged to 
him in some manner, — for Henry's sake, per- 
haps, though that suggestion came later, when 
Philip had begun to invent motives for his 
conduct. 

He had something the same feeling about 
Ralph : it explained the mysterious power 
those grey eyes had had over him long ago, 
when as yet he had had nothing to say to 
Ralph. Philip felt himself a sort of guardian 
angel for these two, and he was bent on 
uniting: them. It was his first venture in 
match-making, and he embarked with all the 
zeal of adventure and novelty. The idea of 
falling in love with little Griselda himself had 
not occurred to him, till Ralph suggested it ; 
then he laughed it to scorn and forthwith dis- 
missed it from his mind. No caution was 
necessary, because no danger was imminent. 
He watched over his little friend with more as- 
siduity than before, and with equal platonism. 

Griselda on her part was not in danger 



" FOR HENRY S SAKE. 195 

either. Perhaps she was hardly old enough to 
fall in love with any one. She was much taken 
up with other things, her poor little soul being 
entirely filled with dislike to the career on 
which she was about to enter. She clung to 
Ralph and she clung to Philip as to supporters 
and friends. She had very few of either, poor 
child ; and she had no happy, sheltering home, 
whither she could run for protection. She had 
none of the strong-mindedness that enables 
some women to stand alone and face the world : 
she must flee to somebody for protection, and 
she naturally flew to the best person she could 
find. If she found this person in a young 
man who bore no obvious relationship to her, 
she could not help it ; she knew too little of 
the world to trouble herself about convention- 
alities. Both Ralph and Philip did care enough 
for conventionalities to talk very seldom of 
their little friend. Ralph saw her every day, 
Philip often twice in the week ; but they felt it 
would be difficult to explain their friendship 
to an outsider, and they each mentioned it as 
little as possible. If a stranger such as Agnes 



196 A DREAMER. 

found them with her, PhiHp in particular 
puzzled Griselda by becoming suddenly very 
stiff and formal. Neither of the two young 
men dreamt of even alluding to the little 
student w^hen they wrote home, — Philip to the 
quiet, busy parsonage, or Ralph to the big, 
bustling doctor's house. 

A very subtle relationship grew up between 
Griselda and Philip. She regarded him as a 
sort of prophet, and consulted him on all kinds 
of ethical questions, rather to his embarrass- 
ment, for he did not yet feel himself a perfectly 
competent teacher. But he always tried to 
answer her : she belonged to him ; he felt him- 
self responsible for her. 

If any one doubts that this state of affairs 
between a young man and a girl is possible, I 
beg that doubter to remember that Griselda 
and Philip were not quite ordinary people. 
She was mentally short-sighted, and only took 
notice of the things that forced themselves 
most irresistibly before her vehement imagina- 
tion at the time being. And Philip lived in a 
dream-world of his own, where a haze of ideas 



'' FOR HENRY S SAKE. 197 

and fancies prevented him from seeing a good 
many things that presented themselves easily 
enough to other people. 

Ralph — a third person — a more ordinary 
creature with a certain amount of common- 
sense, did think it possible that the subtle 
relationship between these two might expand 
into a mutual affection. Ralph's love was ever 
of the pure self-sacrificing type, and he would 
not for all the world have put himself between 
them, had he seen any symptom of the possi- 
bility becoming a probability. 

Occasionally a qualm came over Ralph's 
trusting soul about Philip ; he always dismissed 
it, and was the more loyal to his friend because 
he had once in the time of his ignorance called 
him a traitor. Philip of course had no notion 
that he had ever, even ignorantly, been called 
a traitor. To be upright and honourable and 
trustworthy, and not the least bit of a quack, 
seemed to him the most natural thing in the 
world. Such virtues were too imperative to 
be even thought about. 

One day — it was about a fortnight after 



198 A DREAMER. 

Philip had renewed his acquaintance with 
Griselda — he ventured to ask a question he had 
been long purposing. There were voices on 
the other side of the sliding doors that separ- 
ated the little parlour from the adjoining room, 
— not loud voices, such as Philip had occasion- 
ally heard there, and which he had never ap- 
peared to notice — but low and at intervals, as 
if those of persons deeply engaged. 

''Griselda," said the young man, **why do I 
never see your father ? where is he ? " Griselda 
did not reply. After a moment's thought she 
rose, and slid back about two inches of the 
door, so that Philip could look into the next 
room. 

William Mortimer, pale and emaciated, was 
lying on a couch. Another man was with him, 
and between them stood a card-table on which 
lay piles of gold. The artist's sunken eyes 
were gleaming with suppressed excitement, 
and the trembling fingers clutched the cards 
with an eagerness painful to witness. 

** That is papa," said Griselda, letting Philip 
watch the gamblers for a few minutes, and then 



" FOR HENRY S SAKE." 199 

sliding back the door. She looked up In the 
young man's face as if to read his thoughts. 
Her own was white, and her lips were closed 
tightly, as if under the pressure of a familiar 
pain. 

" Griselda," said Philip — he was tracing a 
likeness in her to her dead brother — " I wish 
you were away from him ! " 

She turned away with a quietness that was 
curiously pathetic, when contrasted with her 
habitual vehemence. " That would not do at 
all/' she said. '' He cannot work ; and I — 
could I leave him ? " 

" Cannot work, Griselda ? " 

" Do you not see he is ill ? He has done 
no painting for a long time." Philip pon- 
dered. *' It is I who will have to work," 
said Griselda. ** I don't like it ; but we want 
money, and I must get to work as soon as I 
can." 

" And meantime, Griselda — forgive me — 
what do you live on ? " 

*' Thatl' she replied, pointing towards the 
inner room, and studying Philip's face intent- 



200 A DREAMER. 

ly. Presently she burst forth, — '' Do you 
think it is wicked ? I do not know how to 
help it ; he will do it. I would rather never 
spend more than we have of our very own ; 
but there is almost none. Papa has lost his 
money. I don't like that way of getting 
money. I never play here ; only sometimes 
in Germany I have gone to the tables when 
I wanted money very badly, and it seemed 
worse to do without it than to gamble for it ; 
and I have always been very lucky. But I 
do not like it ; and I persuaded him to come 
to England, because I thought perhaps he 
would stop. But no : he gets people to play 
with him, and I cannot help it. I do not like 
those men ; but they are not rude to me, and 
I cannot say * You shall not come here ; ' they 
would only laugh if I did, and if papa went 
to gambling-houses it would be worse. I can- 
not stop him ; and he says we want the money, 
though I tell him we can live on so little. We 
have no servant but Elizabeth, and we eat 
very little, she and I. When we came to 
London first we lived in lodgings, but that 



" FOR HENRY S SAKE. 201 

did not do. Respectable people would not 
have us ; and how could I live except with 
respectable people ? " 

" You poor little thing," said Philip, taking 
her two little cold hands in his, " I wish there 
was some way of helping you, and taking you 
away from this life ! Can't Ralph think of 
any way?" he added, doubtfully. He knew 
very little of that affair yet. 

" Ralph ! " she said, flushing angrily, and 
snatching her hands away. " What business 
is that of yours ? " 

Philip walked to the window and looked 
out thoughtfully for a few minutes. He was 
thinking of Agnes. Presently he said — 

*' Griselda, if you had a claim on any one — a 
money claim — would it be of any use to you ? " 

'' I don't know what you mean. We have 
no claim on any one ; and if we had, it would 
make no difference. He would gamble just 
the same. Sometimes I think it is better we 
are poor. He cannot waste so much." 

" What are you thinking of, Mr Temple ? '* 
asked Griselda, a few minutes after. 



202 A DREAMER. 

He bent down towards her; '' Of Henry," 
he answered. 

The brown eyes looked up into his, respon- 
sive and tender. 

" Griselda, I taught Henry to gamble." 

A flush rose on the childish face, and the 
pain in her eyes deepened ; but she drew a 
little nearer to him, and timidly laid her hand 
on his. 

** Promise me you never will, Griselda," said 
Philip, *' nor " He did not finish the sen- 
tence, but hurried away from her. Griselda 
understood him. 



203 



CHAPTER IV. 

Never was a more doubting, anxious, troubled 
little soul than Griselda's. 

One day she had been singing to her two 
friends. She jumped up hastily. *' Do you 
think I improve ? " she cried. 

" Improve ? Your singing is perfect, Grls- 
elda," said Ralph ; and Philip, slowly de- 
scending from the clouds, said, ** Exactly." 

Griselda laughed. " You are foolish, both 
of you," she said. " You have not the slight- 
est notion of what perfection is." 

" I daresay we don't see as far into it as 
you do," said Philip. 

" I have a little idea of it," said Griselda, — 
" a little idea of how I want to sing. I shall 
never attain to it." 

** Do people ever attain ? " 



204 A DREAMER. 

" Yes ; some succeed in whatever they do." 

" It depends on what you mean by success," 
said Ralph. 

'' But it is very sad to be always failing !" 

'' Fancy what odious self-satisfied creatures 
we should be if we did not ! " said Philip ; 
" though, to be sure, if we really succeeded, 
there is no reason why we should not be self- 
satisfied. What makes a self-satisfied person 
irritating is, that the action he is pleased with 
might have been done better." 

" I think it would be grand to do a thing 
as well as ever it could be done ! " cried 
Griselda. 

" Yes ; if I did that once, I should shoot 
myself," answered Philip. 

'* Ah no ! If I succeeded I could go on 
then ! But, after all, it does not make much 
difference," continued Griselda, her enthusiasm 
dying away. " When I succeed a little, or 
fail, or get discouraged, it does not do me 
harm, because I have to go on. I should not 
want to give up because I failed. I should 
onlv have to work the harder." 



*' FOR henry's sake." 205 

'' But the harder the work," said Ralph, 
" the more it takes out of you. That is a 
reason for keeping up your courage." 

" And sometimes one has to work without 
courage," said Griselda. 

" Then it is all the more courao-eous to 2:0 
on," said Philip. '' Don't you remember the 
two soldiers in the battle ? ' You are fright- 
ened, you fool,' said No. i. ' Horribly,' said 
No. 2. ' If you were half as much frightened 
as I, you would run away.'" 

Griselda pondered. Then she said, " I 
should have run away. Afterwards I should 
have been sorry; but that is what I should 
have done. I should have run away by mis- 
take, as it were, because I should not have 
had time to think that it was the very thing I 
had intended not to do." 

" You think too much, Griselda," said Ralph. 
" You worry over yourself too much." 

" Do you think Ralph is right ? " Griselda 
asked Philip. " How can one help think- 
ing ? " 

" I suspect the most healthy people don't 



206 A DREAMER. 

think so much," he answered, backing up 
Ralph as usual when speaking to her. 

" Then I am not healthy. It may be better 
not to have the thoughts; but If they come, one 
can't help It. One can't help one's nature. 
And that is what my nature is — to be, oh, so 
frightened ! " 

As the days passed on, the poor child be- 
came more and more terrified when she 
thought of the doom awaiting her in her 
opening career. The nearer it came, the 
greater grew her horror of it. It was always 
in her mind : a background for all her thoughts. 
At night sometimes she would wake shudder- 
ing, almost screaming, from a dream of im- 
pudent, indifferent faces crowding round her, 
pressing her in tightly, and forcing her to sing, 
her music presenting itself to her as a visible 
form of wondrous beauty torn from her heart 
to be trampled on and Insulted by strangers. 
Sometimes Griselda would sit pondering over 
her fate till her eyes were straining from their 
sockets, her lips were dry and hard, and her 
brain seemed consumed by fire, leaving her, as 



'' FOR henry's sake." 207 

she thought, on the verge of madness. Then 
she would start up and resolve to fly — whither, 
she cared not. But always familiar cowardice 
stopped her, and made her sit down again, 
with a dreary calmness telling of despair and 
not of hope. 

•* Let me die ! " the poor child would sob at 
these moments ; " let me die! I do not want to 
live. No other life can be worse than this. 
Only let me die!" Once she had cried in a 
moment of passion, '' Let me die, O God ! or, 
if I must live, take away my voice." But with 
the words another and a new horror seized her. 
For what had she asked ? Asked to be robbed 
of the one thing she loved in the world ? 
Asked to have all the blossom and the scent 
and the glory of her life taken away ? *' No, 
no ; not that, O God I " she cried, again falling 
on her knees ; *' I knew not what I was saying ! 
Kill me ; blind me ; anything ! But leave me 
my voice ! leave me my voice ! " 

She rose and went to the piano, with a 
calm that surprised herself. She sang with 
an unwearying energy, astonishing her father, 



208 A DREAMER. 

who had heard her complaining of late. She 
talked to him cheerfully of her progress, and 
of the compliments her teacher had paid her 
in the morning. She worked for many days 
with a zeal and a seeming hopefulness that 
were quite new in her. 

And then the reaction came ; and she cried 
again, " Is there no escape ? May I not 
die?" 

One day she said eagerly to Philip Temple, 
*' Couldn't you find me something else to do ? 
You are wise and go about In the world : you 
could find something. I know I am foolish, 
but I am not stupid. I can learn things. If 
you could find something I could learn quickly 
and turn into money at once, then my music 
would not have to be sold." 

Philip shook his head. " You are not fit for 
the things other girls do — governessing and 
that." 

" Ah no. I know nothing but music. And 
I should be ridiculous as a teacher. I was 
talking nonsense. I must go on. Why do 
you make me talk of what I hate ? Let us 



'' FOR henry's sake." 209 

talk about the part I love. The fact that it is 
music I am devoting my life to." 

Her cheek glowed as she spoke. Philip 
watched her pleasurably. 

'' I think," he said, in the quiet low voice that 
never sounded irreverent, " God made a mis- 
take in giving you a voice. Why did He not 
give you the spirit that ought to go with a 
voice ? " 

" I often ask that, I\Ir Temple. The thought 
of that kind of singing is just torture to me, 
but I must do it. He means me to do it. It 
is my duty, and I mean to do my duty if I 
can," said Griselda, steadily. 

'' I wish you liked it better." 

'' Duty generally consists in doing what we 
don't like," said Ralph : " even Christ pleased 
not Himself." 

*' Christ had only to die. I could do that, I 
think," replied Philip, dreamily. 

" No, Mr Temple," interposed Griselda's 
gentle, earnest voice ; " He had to live first, 
just as we have." 

*' He had easy work." 

VOi.. I. O 



210 A DREAMER. 

*' Yes; He went about helping people, and 
had always friends with Him. But perhaps 
it was not always easy to Him. Think of 
thirty years in a carpenter's shop when He 
wanted to be out in the world doing some- 
thing." 

'' It has always puzzled me," said Philip, 
" why everything is made wrong, like that. 
Why are people not put into places that suit 
them ? We think ourselves stupid when we 
put the right foot into the left shoe ; but that 
is — say what you like, Ralph — what God does. 
He puts an active man into a carpenter's shop, 
and a frightened child into an opera; and when 
they might be doing some good in the world, 
they are spending all their time trying to cram 
themselves into the shoe." 

" And if that very process makes them 
better ? " said Ralph. 

" Oh, I hope it will," cried Griselda ; " it is 
what we all want, is it not ? Oh, it is wrong 
of me to complain so much — I know it is. I 
wish I could forget myself, and do my work 
without crying over it. But it is only you I 



FOR henry's sake." 211 



talk to like this, and things puzzle me so. I 
shall learn better some day I hope, Ralph." 

What was the use of telling Griselda she 
would "get over" this terror and anxiety ? It 
weighed on her none the less. She had an- 
other fear also. One day, talking to Philip, 
she said, sinking her voice till it was scarcely 
audible — 

" I get so frightened at papa sometimes ! I 
must not fail as a singer, or he will want to sell 
me. He has said so often," she continued, in 
the same horrified whisper, " that people will 
want to marry me. He will choose some rich 
man and sell me to him." 

'' No one can force you to marry against 
your will, Griselda." 

'' But if I did will it ? I can imagine myself 
getting into that state that I would do any- 
thing to escape from my life. And marrying 
might seem the least of evils. You don't know 
how afraid of myself I am ! " She raised her 
head and looked at him with a mute agony in 
her eyes that cut Philip to the heart. He did 
not speak for a moment. It seemed to him 



212 A DREAMER. 

Important how he counselled her. Griselda, 
impulsive, vehement, highly sensitive, appeared 
just one of those beings who go wrong, and 
then find a lifetime too short for repentance. 
If anything he said, or failed In saying, should 
lead to this misery, could he ever forgive him- 
self.^ 

Griselda meanwhile was anxiously awaiting 
his answer. She had not meant to say any- 
thing so serious. She hardly expected help 
from anybody. Once she had said something 
of the same kind to Ralph, and he had answered 
by trying to comfort her. " God will take care 
of you, my poor child," he had said. '* Do not 
be frightened. Trust yourself to Him." She 
had been grateful for the kindness, but It had 
not helped her. Ralph did not understand 
the fear possessing her. She had not meant 
to speak of It to any one else. But Philip had 
Impressed her Imagination as a prophet ; she 
looked up In his face with the same embar- 
rassino^ and touchlnor confidence as that with 
which she had, when a child, asked him the 
name of a book. He felt now as little capable 



"FOR henry's sake." 213 

as he had felt then of being a moral teacher ; 
yet he dared not turn away. She was asking 
for bread — he dared not give her a stone. 
The fibres of his own nature quivered too 
strongly in unison widi hers for him to attempt 
consolation as Ralph had done. He could 
only give her s\Tnpathy. 

" We must be afraid of ourselves/' he said : 
" that pain is nothing to the pain of remorse." 

She did not answer. Philip's thoughts 
wandered. His mem or}* was capricious and 
highly tenacious of certain mental sensations ; 
a slight allusion could bring them ba<^ with 
the clearness of yesterday. He was not think- 
ing of Griselda ; he was li^-ing again through 
certain hours of acute suffering in his own life. 
She came over to him and touched his arm. 
'* Have you felt that ?^ she said, in a whisper. 

" I have felt enougL I know what it would 
be. I taught Henr}- to gamble — and other 
things. I killed him. He was like you once 
— no, not in the least like you." Philip in- 
terrupted himself abruptly, looking down on 
the delicate face beside him, with the soft eves 



214 A DREAMER. 

fixed on his. '^'Grlselda, don't ask me that 
history. Don't ask me what remorse is. May 
you never feel it." He paused, and covered 
his face with his hands. What made him 
talk so to this child ? 

'' What must we do ? " she said, presently. 

" We must sternly resolve, Griselda, that 
there are some things we will never do — so 
stern we must be, that to break our resolve 
would be sin to us, even if the thing itself 
appeared right," said Philip, half in a dream, 
talking of he scarce knew what. 

" And if we fail ?" whispered Griselda. 

" God help us then," said Philip, solemnly. 
He had forgotten what had led to this ; he 
was lost in his own thoughts. 

Griselda again gazed at him intently, but 
the trouble and perplexity still shone from her 
eyes. She clasped her hands, and cried, " Oh, 
you are right ; I am sure you are right ! but 
I should still be terrified. The great tempta- 
tions of life — the temptations that make us 
fall — are 7io^ those we have thought of and 
resolved about. They come up suddenly, and 



''FOR henry's sake." 215 

we know nothing of them, and have no time 
to think. They seem to slap us on the face 
and stun us, and prevent us from doing what 
we should like to do. And there is no time 
to think, and we have to do something quick, 
quick, without thinking. And we do the 
wrong thing, and all is over. That is what 
terrifies me." 

Philip had no reply to make. They stood 
gazing into each other's eyes as if they read 
coming trouble there. The future was impene- 
trable to them both ; but the mysterious pre- 
cursor of doom had laid his finger on them, 
and without recognising him, they felt his pres- 
ence. How long they stood thus they could 
not tell. Philip was recalled to the actual 
present by the girl suddenly turning deadly 
pale, as if fainting. He caught her as she 
would have fallen, and laid her on a sofa. 
In a moment she revived, but they said no 
more that night. 



2l6 



CHAPTER V. 

Whitsuntide fell early In June. Agnes and 
her husband were at Salehurst. One evenlne 
there was a great party there : Philip was pres- 
ent : Griselda also ; she, not as a mere guest. 
Agnes Intended to keep her little cousin for 
the night, and to be very kind and sisterly to 
her ; but she was to pay her for her services. 
Griselda came as a professional singer. 

Agnes knew no one to whom she could 
confide her feelings about this forlorn little 
cousin. Oliver was most unsympathetic; Philip 
was out of the question, of course ; nobody else 
cared about the beginning of the story, and 
Agnes had no wish to tell that. But she felt 
strongly that she owed her cousin something, 
and she never lost the desire to pay some of 
the debt. Agnes wished Griselda were not 



'-' FOR henry's sake." 21/ 

working for her bread : In vain she told her- 
self ''that is entirely Uncle William's fault." 
A troublesome suspicion, nay, a smothered 
conviction that it was partly her fault, silenced 
this desirable argument. If she could have 
done it conveniently, without trouble, or ex- 
planation, or publicity, Agnes would have 
given half her Income to keep Griselda off 
the boards of the theatre. But she knew it 
was impossible ; she scarcely suggested it to 
herself; she certainly never suggested It to 
Oliver. But what she told herself, and what 
she told her husband (whenever she dared), 
was that she Intended to be very kind to 
Griselda : to watch over her and help her In 
any way she conveniently could. Now it was 
quite evident that a little money would be of 
great use to the child ; she would not receive 
it as a present, but she consented to work for 
It ; and Agnes felt she was doing her a real 
charity by allowing this, and by Introducing 
the little sInQfer as her own near relation. 

Oliver found a o^reat source of amusement 
in his wife's conscience. He had no internal 



2l8 A DREAMER. 

conscience himself, and never brought up his 
doings before that stern court of justice which 
sits In the breasts of the generality of men. 
Any conscience he possessed was external. 
He would do nothing scandalous ; he did not 
wish to be disapproved, by more than one or 
two persons at least. Oliver's system worked 
very well : most simple systems do. There 
was no one in the county more honoured and 
respected than he. Agnes was popular and 
respected also, probably through her associa- 
tion with her husband. Her own system was 
by no means so simple as Oliver's, and had 
she been able to carry it out, might not have 
succeeded so well. But he directed In every 
matter of Importance, and directed on his own 
system. Agnes obeyed, being given no choice. 
Oliver considered Griselda of no importance 
whatever. If Agnes liked to do her a good 
turn — all right. 

Philip Temple very seldom thought of the 
dubiousness of Agnes's position. Even his 
renewed acquaintance with Griselda had scarce- 
ly reminded him of it. 



" FOR henry's sake." 219 

But to-night the young man, who was highly 
sensitive to impressions, suffered under a re- 
vival of his old stronor condemnation of A^nes. 
He was suddenly struck by the painful con- 
trast between the cousins, which Agnes herself 
did not seem to feel In the least. There was 
she, beautiful, dignified, courted, self-import- 
ant, her every claim admitted without the 
smallest hesitation. Philip looked at her and 
admired her — not with his old boyish worship, 
but with a dispassionate criticism. He could 
find no line to alter in her face or figure : she 
was the handsomest woman he had ever seen, 
and she became her crimson robe exceedingly 
well ; and also she became her position as pos- 
sibly no other woman could have done. In 
a corner of the same room sat a little shrink- 
ing creature in a severely simple white frock ; 
she was quite alone ; she was an utterly un- 
important person — as yet. Agnes went over 
to her : she bent her stately head patronis- 
ingly ; she was kind to the child ; she did her 
best to make others kind to her also. Philip 
felt himself blushing. Agnes was not in the 



220 A DREAMER. 

least ashamed of herself. He was ashamed for 
her. The perfect face, the matchless form, 
had suddenly become hateful to him. How 
dared she treat the child so ? He walked 
away ; he could not look at it. 

Griselda was a most unmanageable little 
person. She plainly disliked her position, and 
resisted all attempts to draw her into the sur- 
rounding gaiety. She threw all her natural 
energy into her part in the evening's entertain- 
ment, singing whenever she was asked, and 
singing exceedingly well. But she was cross, 
and refused to be complimented or amused ; 
she would not dance ; she scorned every at- 
tempt to please her ; she was as snappish as 
possible with all the benevolent old ladies, 
who were just the right people to befriend her. 

Once Philip found her hiding in a curtained 
recess, where, thinking herself secure from 
observation, she was allowing a few tears to 
trickle down her cheeks. He followed her, 
intending to remonstrate with her for obsti- 
nately making a martyr of herself 

''She will come and dance with me," he said 



" FOR HENRY S SAKE. 221 

to himself ; but when he saw she was crying, 
he only thought of comforting her. 

She turned impatiently at his step, and her 
eyes flashed dangerously ; but Philip said, very 
quietly — 

" Griselda, tell me what is the matter with 
you." 

" There's nothing the matter." 

*' But I saw you crying." 

" Then you had no business to see me cry- 
ing. I hate people who are always peeping 
and trying to pry into other people's affairs." 
After which speech she stole a glance at him, 
and seeing that he looked excessively amused, 
she began "to cry again, rubbing her eyes 
childishly with her knuckles. 

" Griselda," said Philip, " what is the use of 
beinof cross with me ? Now tell me what is the 
matter. I will take you home if you wish." 

" And make me run away from my busi- 
ness ? That w^ould not be much help. I tell 
you there is nothing the matter, only I have 
not got accustomed to being treated as a thmg 
yet." She still spoke crossly ; but a minute 



222 A DREAMER. 

after she looked up doubtfully in his face, and 
said childishly, in quivering tones, '' Please 
forgive me." She seemed a mere child to 
Philip. He took her hands caressingly and 
drew her towards him. 

*' Come back to your business, then, you little 
thing, and be brave over it," he said, smiling. 

Griselda coloured deeply, and withdrew her 
hands, but she came out of the recess quietly, 
and presently her sweet voice was ringing 
through the room once more. 

Philip was a little distressed by what he had 
done : that deep flush had reminded him that 
Griselda was not quite a child. 

*' I hope Ralph would not mind," he said to 
himself. '' She is a dangerous little girl ; but 
if there were no spectators, no harm is done. 
She understands well enough." 

Possibly it was then that Philip asked him- 
self why he took so much interest in her, and 
answered that it was "for Henry's sake." 

There had been a spectator. Agnes had 
watched the little scene, and had formed her 
own conclusions. Perhaps she was a little 



'• FOR HENRY S SAKE. 223 

less tender to Griselda during the rest of the 
evening. But she bore PhiHp no malice : she 
pressed his hand less coldly than usual when 
she bid him good night. Perhaps she thought 
she owed him something too. Agnes's was 
not a simple nature like her husband's. 

Of all the brave schemes for the improve- 
ment of the Salehurst estate that Agnes and 
Philip had concocted together in the days of 
their engagement, but very few had been car- 
ried out. Agnes had not lost her Interest in 
them, but her husband was a perpetual hin- 
drance to her. For a long time after her 
marriage she had ventured no suggestions. 
A very short acquaintance with Oliver had 
shown her that a suggestion would be a ven- 
ture. As the months rolled on, she feared 
him more and more ; and when alone with 
him she spoke as little as possible. Now 
that four years of their marriage were over, 
she regarded life simply in the light of en- 
durance : she had made an irretrievable mis- 
take, the consequences of which must be 
borne to the end. She still had wishes, 



224 A DREAMER. 

plans, schemes ; but, mostly, they were no 
longer part of herself. They were remnants 
of the past clinging to her as a few wither- 
ed leaves clinof to a tree after their life is 
gone ; or else they were taken up as some- 
thing expected of her, — something it was her 
duty to feel, but in which she had neither 
heart nor energy. Oliver had ground the 
life out of her hopes and aims, and had 
pooh - poohed her plans. This scheme was 
impossible ; that was unnecessary ; the other, 
premature. Let her leave it to him ; he 
would see that everything was done properly. 
Very likely Oliver was right. Salehurst pros- 
pered. But Agnes's energies, never called 
forth in her girlhood, were crushed now : they 
were like a struggling flame, long smothered, 
and at last, when bursting into life, extin- 
guished by a breath. 

Probably he had no notion of the mis- 
chief he was doing : his own nature was very 
simple and very unsympathetic. The half- 
tints, the little intricacies, the fine sensibilities 
of another nature were lost on him. Their 



'' FOR HENRY S SAKE. 225 

existence had no reality for him ; they were 
"sentiment, you know, and that sort of thing." 
He never suspected their presence in Agnes, 
whom he imagined very like himself, but 
spoiled by a woman's morbid conscience. 

He had some root of affection in him. He 
was fond of his wife, and would have liked a 
little more affection from her. Acrnes's su- 
preme coldness irritated him, and made him 
take pleasure in wounding her. He was 
fond of little Lily also in a way — that is, he 
was proud of her, and liked to have her 
with him for a few minutes when he had 
nothing to do ; or he liked to bring her a 
new toy, and to witness her pretty delight in 
receiving it. He did not want to be bothered 
by talking to or playing with her ; but once 
or twice he had astonished the dignified nurse 
by finding his way into the nursery to look 
at the sleeping child, and perhaps to touch 
her fair curly hair with his hand. 

Ao-nes did not care for the child so much 
as this even. She attended to her more, per- 
haps ; purposed to bring her up on the most 

VOL. I. p 



226 A DREAMER. 

approved system, and often had her with her 
when strangers were present (from which 
arose a report that Mrs Temple - Mortimer 
was the most devoted mother in existence). 
But, on the whole, poor little Lily had a love- 
less home : neither father nor mother awakened 
one chord of affection in her heart. She was 
more perfecdy indifferent to them than she 
was to the grand nurse, who at least kissed 
her when she tumbled down and hurt herself. 

Let us return to Agnes and the village of 
Salehurst. It was Oliver who had proposed to 
rebuild the school-house. Agnes had agreed 
apathetically. Her interest was aroused, how- 
ever, when she found that, if she chose, she 
might have the principal management of the 
undertaking. Agnes called Philip to her as- 
sistance : long ago they had discussed the 
scheme together. 

On the morning after the party, when Philip 
alone remained of all the guests, Agnes called 
him into the library to talk about the new 
school. She saw that he was in a bad hu- 
mour, and she hoped to beguile him out of it 



" FOR HENRY S SAKE. 22/ 

by reference to his good works. Philip felt 
he had done much good in this matter of the 
school-house. It was not merely all his val- 
uable suggestions and advice that elated him ; 
he had another source of satisfaction. He 
had recommended as architect a protdgd of 
his own. This Edward Bentley was a most 
worthy young man, but burdened by a heavy 
debt incurred under the pressure of various 
misfortunes ; not having a good connection, 
and therefore having' very little to do, he 
made small advance towards paying his re- 
sponsibilities, and was always oppressed and 
careworn. Agnes expressed great interest in 
him, and declared she would be delighted to 
give the new school-house into his hands, beg- 
ging Philip to let her have his address at once. 
Philip went to the young man himself, and 
told him that he had a job for him. It was 
pleasant to see the joyous excitement that 
overspread the anxious desponding face, — 
and indeed he had every right to be pleased, 
for the patronage of the Temple- Mortimers 
was worth having. 



228 A DREAMER. 

After this, It may be Imagined Philip was 
annoyed to find this morning that his Inter- 
view with Edward Bentley had been prema- 
ture, and had raised a false expectation In 
the struggling man. Agnes had abandoned 
him, and had already made an agreement 
with a more celebrated person. 

'' He will think I have cheated him ! " ex- 
claimed Philip, angrily. 

" What a pity you were so rash ! " said 
Aenes. 

" Mr SImmonds is a very able man," she 
continued, after a pause ; '' he has built sev- 
eral beautiful churches. Have you seen St 
Matthew's on Bayly Heath ? " 

" Bentley knows a vast deal more about 
schools/' growled Philip, internally enraged at 
what he chose to consider her bad faith, and 
the cool way in which she had rolled the blame 
on to him. 

" We are thinking of restoring the church," 
said A^nes. " I am Inclined to think It ouorht 
to be done before we build the schools." 

*' People are eternally restoring churches ! " 



*' FOR HENRY S SAKE. 229 

cried Philip. '' What is the use of it ? Who 
admires whitewash, and imitation windows, 
and nineteenth-century Norman work, and all 
the hideous folly of a modern reredos, and 
altar, and bran-new organ case, and boards for 
the Commandments, painted and illuminated, 
out of a monkish missal, in imitation of the 
two tables of stone you suppose, as if Moses 
had any time for that sort of folly ? " 

" Oh, do stop," interrupted Agnes, with 
her graceful smile ; *' you take my breath 
away. We had no thought of eclipsing 
Moses." 

"Is your church falling down, or what is it ? 
Can't the parson preach in the little pulpit he 
is accustomed to 1 or do you want to capture 
an echo that interferes with his favourite doc- 
trines ? Why not let the church alone ? It 
is a venerable structure, pretty enough in its 
way. Let it live a natural life and die a 
natural death like any other old building. 
When a tree is dying, do you plaster it with 
artificial bark and stick on new leaves with 
pins ? I am sick of restored churches, with 



230 A DREAMER. 

their monstrosities, like nothing in nature or 
art. And the parsons, who ought to be teach- 
ing people how to live, or helping them to die, 
mount on ladders and gape at the poor fools 
painting the groining in the roof; or fly about 
all England, hunting for a new device to intro- 
duce their gas in a pre-Raphaelite, or Byzan- 
tine, or monstrous nineteenth -century, ritual- 
istic, artistic manner. For heaven's sake, let 
the church alone, and don't distract the curate 
from his parish duties ! Build your school, that 
half the children in the district may not grow 
up in ignorance because there is no space for 
them in the class-room, or because they get 
asphyxia from the bad air, or chronic bron- 
chitis from the damp. I was talking to your 
schoolmaster yesterday, and he says he won't 
stay another year, not he, even if the new 
buildings are begun ; that it would require the 
patience of Job to endure such an ill-arranged 
place ; that there is no room to do anything he 
wants ; that he can't teach grammar to the first 
class without the second class and a pupil- 
teacher bawling bad spelling in his pocket. 



"FOR HENRYS SAKE. 231 

And his wife caught a fever last year, and one 
of his babies is dying now, because there is 
no attempt at proper drainage in his house. 
And you, Agnes — you talk of restoring the 
church ? " 

'' That schoolmaster Is a very discontented 
person," said Agnes, soothingly. She knew 
that Philip was venting his ill-humour in these 
stormy utterances. 

Oliver was In the room comparing his own 
smiling equanimity with the ferocity of his 
cousin, much to his own advantage, as may 
readily be supposed. He never was out of 
temper when more than one person were pres- 
ent. Oliver was delighted that Philip should 
have the trouble of that confounded school- 
house ; but he liked him none the better for 
the fact. 

It was a wet afternoon and not a pleasant 
one. Oliver was not well and shut himself up 
in his study. Agnes was unhappy ; she feared 
that Philip was slipping away from her. What 
made him care so much about this Mr 
Bentley ? 



232 A DREAMER. 

Philip went out, but having lost some of his 
boyhood's delight in being wet through, was 
soon driven in by the rain. He had not for- 
given Agnes ; she was a very crooked per- 
son. Some of the horror with which he had 
first discovered her crookedness returned, and 
without the affection that had softened it in 
former days. Philip was restless and dissatis- 
fied ; he wished himself back in London : a 
holiday that is a failure is a great evil. 

Matters did not improve when, in the course 
of the afternoon, Mr Benson, the old lawyer, 
made his appearance and was invited to stay 
for dinner. 

" He has come on business," said Agnes to 
Philip. '' Oliver has been wanting to see him 
for some time, and we told him we should be 
here all this week." 

Her manner was not different from usual, 
and there was nothing improbable in what she 
said, but Philip was oppressed with a sense of 
unreality. He turned away, wondering what 
brought the man here, and hating himself for 
thinking it anything unnatural. 



"FOR HENRYS SAKE. 233 

Agnes's eyes filled with tears ; it was this 
man Benson who had separated her from 
Philip. How Philip had changed since then! 

Oliver would not come to dinner, and his 
cousin found himself to a certain extent in the 
position of host. Every one was unpleasantly 
reminded of that day years before, when 
trouble had begun. When Philip and the 
old man were left alone with the wine, a frown 
settled on the brow of the former, and he spoke 
little and sulkily. Mr Benson remembered 
him, and was surprised to meet him again 
at Salehurst. 

The lawyer hated Oliver Temple, who had 
never taken the trouble to conciliate him. Of 
late Agnes herself had offended him, and the 
desire of finding revenge in vaguely annoying 
them prompted him to talk of the subject that 
he knew they would least desire, and of which 
Philip's appearance had reminded him. The 
young man watched the clock once more with 
impatience. He fell to wondering why time is 
so variable in its pace, and was mentally ex- 
tending a favourite theory. The minutes were 



234 A DREAMER. 

passing slowly to-night for the same reason 
that the sun sometimes looks black. Neither 
time nor colour had real existence, but were 
only mental perceptions. There was no reason 
why time should proceed, or seem to proceed, 
uniformly, therefore, &c. &c. 

He was listening all the while to Mr Ben- 
son, as we listen to a sermon when half asleep 
— dreaming of a fish, perhaps, yet hearing 
the words justification and sanctificatlon, and 
marking a new pronunciation or a lapse in 
grammar. (And here I pause to inquire if 
all persons are thus conscious while they are 
dozing, or if it is a peculiarity of Philip's and 
mine ? At any rate, it is a most painful con- 
dition — a good punishment for inattention in 
church.) 

" I suspect," chuckled Mr Benson, startling 
Philip out of his dream, *' that Mr Mortimer 
had a vast deal more to say to it than we 
think ; and who knows but Mrs Agnes could 
tell all about it too ? She's a cunning one." 

Philip pushed back his chair in disgust, and 
rose, though Mr Benson's glass was still un- 



'' FOR henry's sake." 235 

emptied. He did not speak to the old man 
again that night, and as soon as possible he 
escaped to his own room to try and compose 
the whirl that had arisen in his thoughts. 
Strange as it may seem, the idea suggested 
by the shrewd, vulgar, unprincipled man, had 
never occurred to Philip before, and now he 
flung it indignantly from him. But it brought 
up a host of unpleasant recollections. A scene 
almost forgotten, which, at the time of its oc- 
currence, had vividly impressed his imagina- 
tion, flashed across his memory with that 
freshness which is unpleasant In its unnat- 
uralness. He saw again a darkened room, 
a kneeling figure burning something on the 
hearth ; a scared face raised to his, and white 
lips uttering indifferent words that now he 
could not hear. He had begun to doubt 
Agnes then, — he doubted her more now ; yet 
still he accused her of nothing distinct. 

Philip descended the stairs slowly. Agnes 
met him in the hall, looking sad and anxious, 
a rare matter, for on that beautiful face passing 
emotion was seldom printed. 



2^6 A DREAMER. 

" Listen to the rain ! " she said. '' I have 
ordered a fire. It has been a wretched day ; 
but Mr Benson is gone, and we can have a 
comfortable evening. Is anything the matter, 
PhiUp?" she asked, doubtfully. He was 
slipping away from her : the fact made her 
timid, yet even more anxious to retain him. 

Philip did not answer. He stood by the 
fire absorbed in his own thoughts, not just 
then amiable ones towards Agnes ; but he 
had heard what she said, and after a few 
minutes became conscious that she waited a 
reply, and that her large beautiful eyes were 
resting on him, and dim with tears. Some- 
thing in their expression made Philip uncom- 
fortable. He moved away, and said abruptly, 
and not very relevantly — 

"It rains a great deal here, I think." He 
was thinking of a night when he had paced 
for an hour under the trees, not heeding the 
pelting rain, being too terribly stricken by the 
first insinuated doubt of her. Agnes had for- 
gotten that rainy night. Her thoughts were 
in the painful present, as she watched him 



" FOR HENRY S SAKE. 23/ 

sadly, and listened to the pattering on the 
window - panes. Those sad watching eyes 
recalled the present to Philip also. He began 
to think how he could cut short his visit and 
leave the house. 

Circumstances came to the rescue. A 
telegram arrived from Alton Moat, General 
Temple's house, saying that the old man was 
dying, and desired his grandson. Oliver, 
who disliked night journeys and deathbeds, 
made the most of his rheumatism : Philip at 
once volunteered for the painful duty. It 
was not much more than ten when he hur- 
riedly took his leave. Agnes watched him 
out of the house with pathetic eyes, then 
turned to her husband, and looked at him 
indifferently, as if she were a statue. Oliver, 
who was really suffering, would have liked a 
word of sympathy. She gave him none. He 
waited, hoping for some slight token of affec- 
tion, then raised his eyes to look at her. The 
beautiful face, cold and hard in its expression, 
affected him disagreeably. He ceased to ex- 
pect anything from her, and gave vent to his 



238 A DREAMER. 

disappointment in a low whistle not pleasant 
to hear. Agnes left him and went to her 
own room, where she locked herself in. Lily 
was crying in her little bed close at hand, but 
Agnes heeded her not. Oliver heard the 
child from his room below, and wished some 
one would comfort the little creature ; but he 
ventured on no step in the matter himself. 
The grand nurse was away at her supper; 
the nursery-maid was new, and greatly dis- 
liked by Lily. The neglected child cried 
herself to sleep unsoothed. 

" There is a curse on the house," Philip 
had said to himself as he left it. " My first 
thought was best, that I would not enter it 
again." 



239 



CHAPTER VI. 

The chill of daybreak made Philip shiver as 
he left the train and walked quickly to Alton 
Moat. He left the town of Ponchester, with 
its silent streets and still unawakened house- 
holds, and set forth along a straight white road, 
traversing a marshy expanse, and marked at 
intervals by pollarded willows. Now and then 
a sudden gust of rain blinded him, and the 
east wind blew in his teeth, and howled dis- 
mally over the silent fields. Philip was tired, 
for a night journey in a slow train stiffens 
even young limbs. 

It was at Ponchester that he had once long 
ago met with an accident, pulling an old gate- 
way down on himself, in the endeavour to 
release a child that had imprisoned itself in 
rashly interfering with a structure grown un- 



240 A DREAMER. 

reasonable from age. Some of Philip's ad- 
ventures had been quite foolish and unlucky 
enough for Don Quixote. 

He remembered to-day the confused sen- 
sation with which, trying to believe himself 
unhurt, he had remounted his pony to return 
to the Moat after the disaster, and the relief of 
seeing some one come forward and undertake 
the guidance of the quadruped. He remem- 
bered how, when his senses were still more 
benumbed, he had asked '' if the parsonage 
were in sight ; " after which he had suddenly 
felt ashamed of having said something foolish, 
and had determined to speak no more till he 
were better. Ah ! till he were better. It had 
been a long time. Here the road turned a 
little, and brought him into a somewhat less 
desolate scene. It was at this corner that he 
had abandoned the struggle to retain con- 
sciousness, and had believed himself to be 
dying, as who does not in a first faint ? 

Philip paused as the old house came in sight, 
to indulge in the luxury of minute recollection, 
and realise the fact that to-day, at any rate. 



*' FOR henry's sake." 241 

he was strono- and well. Those lonor weeks 

o o 

of illness had made a dreary association for 
the old place, yet they had endeared it to him. 
He had grown fond of the deeply-recessed, 
weird rooms, with the narrow windows and 
the wide hearths ; fond of the kind old man 
who had always made a favourite of him, and 
who had never come near him in his illness 
without distracting his shattered nerves by 
offers to raise the blinds, or lower the blinds, 
or open the door, or shake the cushions, or 
something else equally kind and unnecessary. 
He had learned to appreciate his mother's 
patience which had borne his every mood 
without one murmur ; his father's strong arm 
had been always ready to support his first 
tottering steps, and to smile him back to cour- 
age and hope. How well he remembered 
watching the sunset as he lay under the much- 
belauded mulberry-tree ! or staring Into the 
still water of the moat, and wondering how 
many living creatures, which no microscope 
could ever make visible to human eye, preyed 
among the roots of the w^ater-lilies ! It was a 

VOL. I. Q 



242 A DREAMER. 

long time ago ; the old place had fallen Into 
yet deeper decay since then. Philip almost 
wished the time could return when as yet he 
had not tried life save in schoolboy fashion. 
So much had happened since then! There was 
so much he wished undone. The old place was 
not connected with his failures. He stood long 
looking at the house and musing regretfully. 
Ah, if those old days might return ! If he 
could be a boy again, visiting his grandfather 
in the holidays ! If he shut his eyes for a 
moment, and stopped his ears so as to isolate 
himself for a space from all the outer world, 
and with it from time and his own outer self, 
would it follow inevitably that his eyes and 
ears would reopen on the same time and 
scene to which they had closed ? Might not 
the past return like the waking after a sleep ? 
or might he not — if that isolating process were 
complete — find himself in some new sphere, 
with a new past and a new present, surrounded 
by new creatures and scenes, himself new, yet 
still himself? 

*' I am a dreamer," said Philip, rousing him- 



" FOR henry's sake." 243 

self — " a fool ; and the old man is dying. Let 
me enter." 

Alton Moat stood In the midst of a flat and 
doleful waste. In olden times the little hill 
on which it stood had been almost an island ; 
now it was surrounded by what served as 
pasture-land, cows and sheep browsing con- 
tentedly on the large fields, bounded and tra- 
versed by ditches. Along these grew pollarded 
willows, and here and there were groups of 
larger trees, their dark foliage scarcely enliven- 
ing the solemn aspect of the landscape. Mills 
and lone houses were scattered at intervals; but 
the only conspicuous object for a considerable 
distance was Alton Moat itself, standing as it 
did on a slight eminence overtowered by trees. 
It had stood there for centuries unchanged, 
though the surrounding land had been redeemed 
from marsh, and the encircling moat had long 
been a means of drainage rather than of de- 
fence. The house and its garden were within 
the moat, and still the Inhabitants entered by 
a drawbridge, long, however, immovable. The 
house, built In the old feudal times, had been 



244 A DREAMER. 

considered a miracle of strength then, its eleva- 
tion and the almost impassable nature of the 
surrounding country combining to give it a 
commanding position. The feudal lord had 
lived in the tower, and the site of the pres- 
ent garden had been covered with the dwell- 
ings of his dependants. A great man was he; 
but practically he had few enemies to combat, 
and the very security of his position must have 
produced a wearisome solitariness. 

The tower had scarcely changed in appear- 
ance since the days of feudalism ; and inside 
also it wore an old-world air. The Temples 
were conservative and poor ; they were not 
an important family now, and Alton Moat was 
forgotten by the world at large. 

The old general was glad to see Philip 
instead of Oliver. " Look, my lad," he said ; 
" I'd like to have done something for you if 
I had been able. It is a satisfaction to me 
that the Moat will be yours some day. I like 
to fancy you and your wife and little ones 
living here merrily as I lived once." 

'' Very well, grandfather," said Philip, bend- 



'•' FOR HENRY^S SAKE. 245 

ing over him and smiling. *' Fancy what you 
please. I never pull down other people's 
castles in the air. But don't set me buildinor 
them if you have any value for my peace 
of mind." 

The old housekeeper, Margaret, beckoned 
Philip out of the room. " Shall we send for 
a clergyman, Master Philip ? '' she said, crying. 
" He never took much heed to his soul, sir." 
INIargaret was a Baptist. Philip's smile van- 
ished. 

'' How do you know ? " said he ; and added, 
" Margaret, what are you talking of? Do you 
think God would not rather receive a soul as 
He made it, than covered up in a new gar- 
ment of religion, hastily stitched together, 
and donned in a panic ? It would never fit, 
you may be sure." 

" Ah, Master Philip, that is because you do 
not understand ! I wish your father, ]\Ir Ar- 
thur, was here with us. \Mien will he come, 
sir, do you think ? " 

"Not in time to see him, Margaret. Never 
fear; leave him to his God." 



246 A DREAMER. 

Philip returned to the bedside. The old 
man did not speak connectedly again. At 
about eleven o'clock the grandson rose to 
his feet and closed the dead eyes. 

The sun was shining softly through the 
green panes of the latticed window, and as 
Philip opened it, he was greeted by a faint 
scent from the fields around. It was Sunday 
morning, and the sound of bells was wafted 
across the pastures from the churches in 
the town. Everywhere was the hush of 
peace, and most peaceful of all was the quiet 
figure on the bed, sleeping in the arms of 
death. 

The young man in the midst of his life 
and strength felt subdued and hushed. The 
despondency and unrest that had reigned in 
his heart a few hours before could find no 
room there now. " Let my last end be like 
this,'' he murmured. What could he more 
desire than a long and honourable life, full 
of activity and benevolence, duties well done 
and sorrows patiently borne, to be closed at 
last by a painless death in the fulness of 



" FOR HENRY S SAKE. 247 

age, with one he loved beside him to hold 
his hand and shut his eyes ? 

Back in London, Philip did not fail to visit 
his little friend, Griselda Mortimer. He found 
her weary and depressed, with very evident 
signs of tears about her eyes. Philip told her 
where he had been, and of the scene he had 
witnessed. 

'' You were fond of him ? " she asked. 

" Very, for the last few years. I only learnt 
to know him comparatively lately." 

Griselda sighed. " Go on," she said ; and 
Philip told of the old man's quiet death, and 
of the quiet grave in the country churchyard 
where they had laid him. 

" Was it very sad ? " asked Griselda. " Those 
eastern counties must be very dreary, so flat 
and damp and chill. And that old house : it 
would make me shiver if I saw it." 

'* It was all very peaceful," said Philip. 

'^ I don't want peace — that sort of peace — 
silence and cold. I cannot bear it. I want 
voices and life around me, or I cannot keep 
going. Don't you know how you hear your 



248 A DREAMER. 

heart beating at night when there is no 
noise ? '' 

"Some day perhaps you will long for the 
silence and the peace." * 

*' But not in those eastern counties. It 
freezes my heart to hear you talk of them — 
the old house, and the moat with the water, 
and the garden where there are no flowers, 
and the cold, cold wind. I should die there." 

'* Let us talk of something else," said Philip, 
for Griselda seemed nervously excited. 

'* Tell me about your grandfather. I like 
that. Did he not wish he had died before } " 

"Why?" 

" Could he wish to be old ? " 

" His life had been happy, I think. Till the 
end came he was strong and well, and had all 
his faculties perfect. Why should he have 
wished to die ? " 

" It is so hard to imagine other people's 
lives. Had he never any trouble ? Real 
troubles, I mean. Not just losing one's 
friends." 

" Is that not trouble, Griselda } " 



"FOR henry's sake." 249 

"It is trouble/' said Griselda, meditatively, 
" in the same way that having a tooth pulled 
out is illness." 

" It takes a long time to recover from, 
Griselda." 

She looked up, the quick tears filling her 
eyes. 

" It leaves a gap," she sobbed ; " that is all." 

Philip was silent. Trouble had some mys- 
terious meaning for Griselda ; he could not 
comfort her. 



250 



CHAPTER VII. 

At last the day came when Griselda was to 
make her first appearance at the opera. PhiHp 
had not forgotten his promise. As ill luck 
would have It, Mr Temple chose that partic- 
ular day to come to London on a visit to his 
son. However, in the afternoon Philip found 
time to look in on Griselda, and see how she 
was getting on. He heard Ralph's voice as 
he ascended the stair, and Mr Mortimer met 
him at the door of the sitting-room. 

*' I am thankful to see you," said the latter. 
*' You will cheer her up a bit, or I don't know 
what's to be done, I am sure." 

Griselda was half in hysterics, and Ralph 
was vainly endeavouring to calm her. They 
both seemed relieved by Philip's appearance. 

" It is nonsense to think of her singing to- 



''FOR henry's sake." 251 

night/' said Ralph. " Can't you persuade Mr 
Mortimer of that, Temple ?" 

Griselda's eyes turned appeallngly to Philip. 
After surveying her for a minute, he smiled, 
and said — 

" I think she ought to go if she can. I don't 
think putting off this business will make It any 
easier. Don't you agree with me, little Grls- 
elda ? Don't you think you ought to try ? " 

She closed her eyes, and said faintly, 
** Thank you. Yes ; that Is what I expected 
you to say. And I am sure you are right. 
Only I don't feel able to do anything at this 
moment." 

" No," said Philip, cheerfully ; '' that is no 
matter. You will be all right when the time 
comes. Where is Elizabeth ? I am going to 
tell her we all want some tea." 

Ralph entered Into Philip's spirit, and they 
talked in the most lively manner, till Griselda 
found herself smiling too. 

" Just look at those great white clouds," said 
Ralph ; " what are they like ? " 

" A feather-bed." 



252 A DREAMER. 

" For shame, Griselda ! So unpoetical." 

''Well then, cream." 

*' Could two things be more unlike than a 
feather-bed and cream ? " 

'' What are they like, Mr Temple ? '' 

*' Themselves." 

'' That is very unpoetical." 

'' Not at all. Doesn't it bother you, when 
you are listening to a sonata, to be told ; — now 
this bit is like a flash of lightning ; and here 
we have a river ; and there something else, 
grammar perhaps. It is all nonsense. It is 
not really like anything but music." 

*' I still think the cloud is like cream." 

'' It is just the beauty of clouds and music 
and one or two other things I know of : they 
are perfectly unprecedented, and only enjoy- 
able for their own sakes. A poem is about 
something; a painting represents something; 
a cow reminds you of a field and a butcher. 
But a cloud reminds you of nothing intelligible. 
It is form and colour by themselves. You can 
dream about a cloud. Just as music is unin- 
telligible to your understanding. Your soul 



''FOR HENRYS SAKE. 253 

understands it well enough if you don't bother 
it by pretending it ought to explain in words." 

" Dear me ! " said Griselda. 

Philip felt snubbed, and relapsed into 
silence. 

" I wonder you like listening to an opera, 
then," observed Griselda, severely. 

" Oh, that is a different matter altogether," 
said Philip, reviving. '' I never looked upon 
that as music pure and simple. If so, it would 
be distraction. No, it is an idealisation ! Life 
set to music ! It represents a new world ; 
nothing with which we are acquainted, but 
something wonderfully delightful. It is a peep 
into fairyland, where speech is song, and 
dancing is nature, not a sort of game." 

"Yes; and where it is all make-believe; 
and the fairies are very uncomfortable women 
working for their bread." 

o 

" Griselda, you of all people should not say 
that. Remember you are to make us for- 
get it." 

" Very well ! " she cried, with a sudden 
sparkle in her eyes. 



254 A DREAMER. 

" Now," said Philip, rising, '' you, Griselda, 
are to go and sleep as long as you can. Lind- 
say must take himself off to smoke. I must 
go home and provide my father with some 
dinner. We shall all meet again in the even- 
ing to be transported to fairyland. Ah ! we 
are only going to look on from the outside. 
Griselda is going right into it." 

They left her smiling, and walked down 
the street arm in arm. 

" I wish she had some one beside you and 
me to look after her," said Philip. 

" She is not fit for this sort of life," said 
Ralph, sadly. 

Mr Temple had come up on business con- 
nected with his father's property. He ex- 
pounded to Philip during dinner, " As I ex- 
pected, he left very little money. We have 
all we need, so I intend to let it accumulate 
for you, Phil." 

'' Why, in the world ? " 

''Well, I don't believe your schemes will 
bring you in much," said Mr Temple, smiling ; 
'* and the little you have is evaporating. If 



'' FOR henry's sake." 255 

you were to marry now, you would find it 
pretty tight." 

'' I am not going to marry. I wish, instead 
of hoarding money, you would spend it on the 
Moat itself." 

" I propose to let the Moat." 

*' To let the Moat ! " 

*' Certainly. I don't want to live there. I 
am much more comfortable where I am, apart 
from the fact that I would not leave my work." 

" But you don't seriously contemplate letting 
strangers into the Moat ? " 

*' Why not ? " said Mr Temple, smiling 
patiently ; " you don't want to go to it, do 
you?" 

*' No — I suppose not. There is nothing on 
earth to do there, except reading the old books 
and playing on the organ." 

" I don't think your performances on the 
organ are worth much. It might be well to 
sell the organ, I think." 

" Father, what are you dreaming of ? You 
are a barbarian, worse than Agnes, who is 
going to restore her church." 



256 A DREAMER. 

*' Ah ! that reminds me : our church wants 
restoration badly." 

" Well, you won't cram it with wool-work 
and crucifixes. You can't make it much more 
hideous than it is. Restore your church, 
father, but for heaven's sake don't desecrate 
the Moat!" 

" My dear boy, I am sorry you take it so 
much to heart ; but is it not the best thino- 
to do ? None of us want to bury ourselves 
there, and it is better it should be occupied." 

'' There are David and Margaret to live 
in it." 

" If we get a good tenant — I have one in 
my eye — it will pay very well. Otherwise it 
will only be an expense and a worry." 

'' My poor castles in the air ! They always 
fall with a crash. I had pictured the Moat a 
common home for us all, ever ready to welcome 
us, no matter when or why. You could darn 
the holes, and patch the staircase, and make 
David and Margaret a little more comfortable. 
We will go and keep Christmas there as we 
did once long ago. Listen ! don't you hear the 



"FOR HENRYS SAKE. 257 

children from Ponchester singing carols in the 
snow outside ? We open the window on the 
secret staircase and throw cakes at them, and 
then we cluster round the fire In the hall and 
disturb old Nero by praising the warmth In- 
stead of simply feeling it. The carol-singers 
are drinking mugs of hot beer that Margaret 
has handed to them, and are shouting hurrah 
for the Temples of Alton Moat. And you 
want to let strangers in ! " 

Mr Temple laughed. '' Well, we must effect 
a compromise. The tenant I have In view is 
your old friend Dr Anderson. He won't want 
more than the front of the house. We can 
reserve the tower for ourselves. Will that 
suit you ? You can have command of the 
old books, and can make a grand observatory 
In the tower." 

" Old Anderson will want to keep the organ. 
That Is the chief merit I see In him,". 

** Nay, I think he has great merits. I should 
not like to let the Moat to any one who would 
not take an interest in It. Anderson cares 
quite as much for It as we do." 

VOL. I. R 



258 A DREAMER. 

*' Not he. And he will die of rheumatism 
before a year is over. I must go and dress," 
added Philip, rising hastily, after a glance at 
the clock. 

'' Are you obliged to go out this evening ? " 
said Mr Temple, who disapproved of the 
opera. " I have only one night in London." 

*' I am very sorry. It is a promise of old 
standing." 

*' A promise to whom ? " 

" To one of the singers." 

Mr Temple was much disquieted. He did 
not like all these queer people whose society 
his son frequented. A singer sounded very 
bad company. 

Philip paused as he was going out, to say, 
" Lindsay is going with me. You have a great 
opinion of him, father, haven't you ? Is that 
a relief to your anxious mind ? " 

He did^iot feel inclined to attempt an ex- 
planation about Griselda. Mr Temple would 
be sure to misunderstand. However, by the 
time he was returned, Philip had convinced 
himself that this was a silly mode of treating 



" FOR HENRY S SAKE. 259 

his father ; and as Mr Temple (who was very 
sleepy) and he ate their supper, he entered 
into a little history of Griselda, dwelling much 
on the intimacy between her and Ralph, and 
saying he felt bound to befriend them both. 

"For Henry's sake," he ended, a little 
awkwardly. 

'' Well," said Mr Temple, '* it is all right, I 
suppose, Phil. But actresses are a dangerous 
class of persons. Don't get into that sort of 
society, my dear boy, and — I should like to 
warn young Lindsay, too, if I could." 

Philip smiled that superior smile with w^hich 
young people hear their elders talk of warning 
them. 

He went to bed disquieted, how^ever, his 
annoyance about the Moat forgotten in other 
things. Griselda had done pretty well ; much 
better than he had expected. But the unwill- 
ingness he had felt to talk of her had set him 
thinking. 

'* I will leave her more to Ralph," he said 
to himself sagely, determining, however, to go 
and see her to-morrow if possible. 



260 A DREAMER. 

Philip was anxious to speak to Griselda 
about Ralph, and on the following day he 
insisted on introducing the topic, at the mere 
approach to which she always bridled. 

" Why did you refuse him, Griselda ? " asked 
Philip. 

" How do you know anything about it ? " 

*'Your father ■' began the young man; 

but Griselda interrupted — 

" I think, if you had thought about it, Mr 
Temple, you would have known that papa 
ought not to discuss my private affairs with 
all the world." 

'' Ralph told me himself," said Philip, meekly; 
** and I am not all the world, Griselda. Surely 
you don't think I would gossip about you from 
curiosity ? Am I not too old a friend for 
that ? " Philip proceeded to plead his friend's 
cause eloquently. Griselda listened with Im- 
patience. 

" Mr Temple," she said, gravely, when he 
paused, " would you marry a man because he 
was a great friend of yours ? " 

** It depends on what you mean by a great 



" FOR HENRY S SAKE. 261 

friend," said Philip, a little annoyed at being 
brought down to details in this manner. 

*' I will tell you," said Griselda, seriously : 
" I think Ralph is the best man I know. I 
love him very dearly, as a friend — a brother, 
if you like. But I have never thought of him 
as a husband. I have no love of that sort to 
give him. And I could not marry him just 
because I dislike the life I be^an last nieht. 
It would not be fair to him." The allusion to 
last nio^ht made her flush and tremble : but 
she had spoken with a quiet dignity different 
from her usual childish manner. Philip felt 
himself a meddler, and replied, apologetically-^ 

" Well, Griselda, forgive me ; I daresay you 
are right." He would have left matters there; 
but she, having no great confidence in herself, 
and being disposed to regard Philip Temple 
as an oracle, checked him as he was going 
away, by saying, with some vehemence — 

*' But I like to know what vou think. I 
feel as if I was right, but then I so often 
make mistakes. Say all you meant to say, 
please." 



262 A DREAMER. 

And Philip answered meekly, " I don't 
know that I am a great judge, but it has 
always seemed to me that you and Lindsay 
were cut out for each other. When I saw 
you together first, I thought you were en- 
gaged." . 

Griselda's earnestness was a little discon- 
certing. Philip again took up his hat, but 
she cried — 

" Oh, do stop I Tell me, do you think we 
are too intimate ? But it is Ralph's fault, not 
mine. He made me promise not to mind 
what he had asked me, but to go on as 
before. We were always such friends. But 

it is no good ; I have never felt the same 

J, 

to him since. I am always afraid of hurt- 
ing him. It is like leaning on some one 
with a broken arm. I don't like being alone 
with him even. I am always glad if you or 
some one comes to help me. Poor, dear old 
Ralph ! " 

'* But, Grlselda," said Philip, cautiously, ^^ I 
still think it would be better if you were his 
wife. Are you sure you are not looking for 



'' FOR henry's sake." 263 

some fantastic feeling, and missing the real 
love within your reach ? I think you and 
Ralph would make each other happy." 

'' Really," said Griselda, " I cannot agree 
with you that I should make a nice wife for 
Ralph or any one. You must remember 
how foolish I am, and how little I know 
about things ; and I am always making mis- 
takes, and being sorry for them. That would 
be too tiresome, — almost worse than making 
mistakes and not being sorry. Indeed I am 
quite serious. I don't believe I should do 
Ralph one bit of good. It is much better for 
us not to think of it." 

Philip did not answer ; and presently she 
resumed — 

" Of course, it would be a good thing for 
me in a way ; but still I shouldn't like it. 
And other thinors would be difficult. I should 
have either to go on singing or to give it up. 
I should hate to decide either way. Do you 
know what I mean ? " 

*' Yes," said Philip, smiling. 

" But I dofi^," she cried ; " I don't know 



264 ' A DREAMER. 

what I mean a bit. I wish you would explain 
It to me." 

" Explanations are bad things," quoted 
Philip. " Man betrligt sich oder den andern 
und melst belde." 

He went away, deciding In his own mind, 
as he had often done before, that he ought 
not to be always trying to give advice, and 
that Griselda ought to have a sensible womail 
to take care of her. j 

Little Miss Mortimer sat still in the twi- 
light, saying to herself, '^ I have not made 
him understand a bit. He thinks I only care 
for myself; and I do care for Ralph." 

She had spoken aloud, and was a little 
ashamed to find Ralph himself standing be- 
side her. 

She coloured, and held out her hand silently. 

" You do care for Ralph ? " he said, smiling 
sadly; "just a little?" 

*' You know I do, Ralph," answered Gris- 
elda. They were silent for several minutes. 

*' Can It not be, Griselda ? " said he, wist- 
fully. 



'•' FOR HENRY S SAKE. 265 

'' Oh, Ralph, I can't ! '' said Griselda. '' I 
hate to think I am hurting you ; but I can't 
do that — you know I can't." 

*' I would take such care of you," said 
Ralph. *' You should never be lonely, or 
tired, or worried again." 

*' Oh, Ralph, I can't ! " repeated Griselda. 
*' I would do anything else in the world for 
you, but not that. Oh, Ralph, I am sure I 
am right ! Don't ask me." 

*' Very well, Griselda. I will try to be con- 
tent as second-best with you." 

** No, Ralph, it isn't that — second-best. It 
isn't that I like any one better. Please don't 
think that. I don't know what it is in me," 
she said, breaking into tears, and hiding her 
face in her hands. 

" Griselda, Griselda, don't cry ! Never mind 
about me. I shall get on very well. I only 
want to see you happy. I should like to 
think you were going to marry some other 
man, if he loved you as much as I do, that is. 
Only, Griselda, let me say one thing. If ever 
you change your mind — want me — you wull 



266 A DREAMER. 

tell me, won't you ? I will come In a moment, 
wherever I am." 

** Oh, Ralph, I can t— I can't ! Do give it 
up. It breaks my heart to make you un- 
happy; but I can't." 

** Don't break your heart, Grlselda. Things 
aren't bad enough for that. I hope they will 
never be worse. Please God, it will never 
come to breaking each other's hearts," said 
Ralph, trying to comfort her. 

Philip did not forget his resolution about 
leaving Grlselda more to Ralph, but he did 
not keep it very well. The failure vexed 
him. He was glad in some ways to find that 
he was wanted at home for a month, and that 
his good-bye to Griselda was likely to be 
sooner than he had anticipated. A long 
good-bye it would probably be ; for, with the 
close of the season, the little singer, now 
launched in her profession, was to drift abroad 
again. Philip did not expect to see her again 
for a long while, unless, indeed, she were to 
marry Ralph. He still hoped she would. 

Meantime she had become almost too 



'' FOR henry's sake." 267 

much a part of his own life. She clung to 
him a little too much. He found he stayed 
too long with her, and that he was disposed 
to watch over her too much. It was no great 
matter : it meant nothing. But it was just as 
well to put a stop to it. And he was not 
able to do much in Ralph's cause after all. 

'' I shall hear of you from Lindsay, Gris- 
elda," he said, after telling her he was come 
to say good-bye. 

''Yes, Ralph will always know about me,*' 
she answered, listlessly. " I wish you were 
not going away. Shall we ever meet again ? " 

*' Oh, I hope we shall meet again," said 
Philip, earnestly ; too earnestly, he thought. 
'' Some day I shall come and see if your voice 
Is getting spoiled," he proceeded, lightly. 

" I will try and remember all the things 
you have told me," said Griselda, looking 
down. 

"About Ralph?" 

*' I am not sure about that. Other things." 

" Griselda, don't. You believe in me too 
much. Most people think me a goose. I am 



268 A DREAMER. 

inclined to agree with them. Look out for a 
better guide, you little thing.'' 

As Philip walked down the street he felt 
greatly disinclined to set about the other 
things he had planned for the afternoon. 
One of these was a visit to Agnes. " I have 
nothing on earth to say to her," he told him- 
self. Even a chat with Ralph in the evening 
about Griselda did not interest him much. 
He was thinking of the downcast troubled 
little face too much to care to talk of her. 
But he comforted Ralph as usual. " I be- 
lieve it will be all right in a year or two, 
my dear fellow," he said. 



269 



CHAPTER VIII. 

Late one evening a young man sat in a com- 
fortable study, with some bills and papers of 
different kinds on a table before him. His 
face wore a harassed and anxious expression 
as he inspected and arranged these, and now 
and then he laid his occupation down to think, 
with his hand pressed against his forehead. 
Presently he rose and rang the bell. A man- 
servant, with grave, obsequious face, answered 
the summons. 

'' Ask Miss Janet to come here, if you please, 
Davis." 

The man retired, and Ralph Lindsay threw 
himself Into his father's chair, and awaited his 
sister's coming. 

Janet Lindsay was some ten years older 
than her brother : like him, but unfavourably 



2/0 A DREAMER. 

SO. She had the same irregular, but not un- 
pleasant features ; the same smooth, dusky 
hair; the same honest, grey eyes. But Janet 
was not quiet and patient like Ralph. Her 
expression was dissatisfied, her manner often 
sharp and ungentle — not always so, however : 
if Janet's heart were touched, no one could be 
more thoughtful and kind. Her invalid sister, 
her delicate, clinging mother, thought Janet 
had not her equal in the world — she was so 
helpful, so strong and loving. Her faults had 
been caused to a great extent by a certain 
dreariness in her lot ; an undefined dissatis- 
faction with her parents ; a vague longing for 
a sphere where nobler work would call for 
greater energy. She would have liked to have 
been a missionary, or the matron of a hos- 
pital, or even a schoolmistress. But her youth 
was fading away, and she felt her faculties 
rusting for want of use. Her days were passed 
in the trivial round appointed to many women : 
attending on those who were dependent, and 
yet not always in real need; helping her father 
in little services which he scarcely appreciated ; 



"FOR henry's sake." 2/1 

entertaining stupid visitors with stupid talk ; 
visiting the poor, who did not care for her 
tracts and her advice ; writinof scoldine letters 
to Ralph, by means of which she hoped to 
stimulate him to high deeds. Ralph, busy 
doing his work, was often annoyed by his 
sister's letters. He could appreciate her ready 
usefulness at home, but he did not perceive 
that her irritated advice to him was the out- 
come of a heart yearning upward out of un- 
recognised disappointment. 

" Sit down, Janet," said Ralph ; ** I want to 
speak to you about our mother. She must 
know at once the condition of my father's 
affairs. Will you undertake to tell her ? " 

*' She will be greatly shocked. She did not 
know, as I did, that he has been living beyond 
his income for several years. That Dr Darby 
got by degrees all his practice you may say, 
and poor papa would not confess it by econo- 
mising. I really think people should have 
more common-sense than to be surprised when 
they are outstripped by younger men. Papa 
always regarded Dr Darby's popularity as a 



2/2 A DREAMER. 

personal insult, and as a thing he would not 
acknowledge for all the world : when, consider- 
ing the progress of science, and " 

'' Never mind that now, Janet," said Ralph, 
who had not revered his father too much, but 
who nevertheless disliked to hear his impru- 
dence commented upon in Janet's sharp unlov- 
ing tone ; " what I want you to understand, 
and to make my mother understand, is that 
a great change in our circumstances is in- 
evitable at once. I have put the house into 
Robinson's hands already, that it may be 
sold as soon as possible, and to - morrow I 
shall give the servants notice. There is no 
means of keeping it from my mother any 
longer." 

** She trusted poor papa implicitly. When I 
hinted that the butcher's bill was unpaid for 
several quarters, she said every one liked giv- 
ing him credit, as it showed how proud they 
were of him. What she meant, I can't tell 
you ; and what she will feel now, goodness 
only knows." 

'' Will you speak to her to-night ? Robin- 



" FOR henry's sake." 273 

son's man is coming early to-morrow, to make 
a valuation of the furniture." 

'' Well, I suppose I must. What do you 
wish me to say ? " 

" Tell her that my father's money will not 
suffice to cover his debts, and there is abso- 
lutely nothing left for any of us. But don't 
make matters out too black. The surplus 
debts are not very large. I can settle them, 
and my income will go a considerable way 
to help." 

" I must go out as a governess, I suppose," 
said Janet, not, however, speaking despond- 
ently. She was not especially fond of children, 
but any active labour would have been accept- 
able to her. 

"No, Janet," said Ralph, gravely; "you 
must stay with our mother and Emily. They 
cannot spare you, particularly now that their 
expensive maid must be dismissed." 

" What are we going to live on, then ? " 
asked Janet, with some asperity. 

" I can arrange to give you ;/^20O a-year so 
long as I am in my present situation. Pos- 

VOL. I. S 



274 A DREAMER. 

sibly I may see my way to something better 
before long. Can you manage on that ? " 

'' I suppose so," said Janet, grimly, *' if 
mamma will be content with a maid -of- all - 
work. I don't know, though, Ralph ; it is 
only ;^50 a-year each for the four of us ; (we 
must have one servant). It might do for 
people in health, but " 

'' I will make it ^250." 

'' But that's a frightful drag upon you, 
Ralph. I don't think we ought to allow it. 
You may want to marry." 

" No. And I shall not let my mother and 
Emily suffer more than it is possible to 
avoid." 

" But you will want to marry, Ralph. All 
men marry sooner or later." 

'' Then it must be later with me, — when I 
am partner in the firm. You may set your 
mind at rest, Janet. There is only one per- 
son I should care to marry, and she will have 
nothing to say to me, so I shall not need my 
mother's money." 

Janet was a little awed by the calm voice in 



>^ ^ « T^-r- J> 



'' FOR HENRY S SAKE. 275 

which Ralph mentioned this minor tragedy. 
She had never suspected her brother of being 
in love, and had been wont to regard him with 
some contempt from the heights of what she 
considered a disappointment in her own earlier 
records. After a few minutes she said — 

*' Is there no way of making money faster ? 
Business seems very slow work." 

*' It requires patience, of course. One can't 
expect to be rich all at once." 

" But there are other things that pay better 
than being a merchant's clerk. Why don't 
you join that Mr Walker, who has set up the 
land agency ? See how well he is getting on. 
And you know of the new machinery patent 
he is bringing out. That, he says, is sure to 
succeed. And his " 

'' That kind of speculation is all very well 
for men with something to fall back upon ; but 
it is risky work. I have no great opinion 
of Walker. He talks very big, but tries 
too many trades to make me confident he 
has succeeded in one. And as to his land 
agency, I have great doubts if he under- 



2;6 A DREAMER. 

Stands that sort of thing. I am sure I don't, 
and I will not impose upon people by join- 
ing him." 

'' Well, I think he deserves great credit for 
his activity and his energy in leaving no stone 
unturned for the benefit of his family. Mrs 
Walker was telling me how busy he always 
is, liable to be called off at any moment to 
Scotland or " 

''Well, I hope it is all right. He is not a 
man I feel much confidence in. Will you 
speak to my mother, Janet ? " 

" I only mean, Ralph, that with a little 
courage, you too might discover some more 
remunerative work. It seems to me such 
waste of life to sit all day droning in an 
office. If you had a little invention, a little 
energy, you might " 

" Leave all that to me, Janet. Now, at any 
rate, is not the moment to reconstruct my life. 
You will help me most by consulting with 
Emily and my mother how and where you are 
going to live.'' 

" On ^200 a-year ? " 



'' FOR henry's sake." 277 

" On ^250 a-year." 

" It Is not fair to burden you so, Ralph. It 
would be much better to let me be a gover- 
ness. Mamma could attend upon Emily ; 
and they could keep a maid, perhaps, If I 
were supporting myself You could give 
them " 

" My mother needs attention herself, Janet. 
And you will not eat more than a maid. I 
assure you there Is nothing else to be done 
than what I say, — at present at least. So 
please agree to It without arguing over every 
point." 

Janet went up-stairs to her Invalid sister 
and her widowed mother, to tell the unwel- 
come news. Ralph meanwhile returned to 
the arranging of Dr Lindsay's papers. He 
felt bruised by this Interview with Janet. 
Her voice, out of Emily's sick-room, was apt 
to be loud and somewhat discordant ; the 
plainness of speech, on which she prided her- 
self, was jarring at times. 

" It Is a great thing that one can depend on 
her so thoroughly/' said Ralph, by way of 



2;8 A DREAMER. 

comforting himself; and he knew that in all 
the trying circumstances entailed by such a 
reverse of fortune, Janet would be a clever, 
efficient, uncomplaining manager. Neverthe- 
less he was glad it was not his lot to live with 
her. '' It is only on roses that thorns are 
bearable," he said, thinking of another person 
who gave him occasional pricks, but who 
seemed to him entirely sweet and lovable. 
Then he sighed a little and went up to his 
mother, who knew nothing of his trouble, and 
was wholly absorbed in her own. 

Ralph Lindsay did not suffer much by his 
change of fortune. He had never spent more 
than about half his income, and now made no 
change In his habits beyond moving to smaller 
lodelnes. 

He was wrong in thinking Griselda perfectly 
Indifferent to him. She thought of him much, 
and often debated in her own mind whether 
Philip Temple had been altogether mistaken 
in saying she would be better as Ralph's wife. 
One sentence of his had Impressed her, and 
she asked herself, often fearfully. If she might 



2;9 

not Indeed be missing real affection by looking 
for some fantastic dream. 

" He made a mistake once himself," she 
said, ''and so he ought to know." 

The news that Ralph had lost his father 
and had been obliged to give up almost all his 
income, made her still more inclined to turn to 
him. Misfortune, or anything approaching to 
heroism, are attractive to women, and it did 
seem to Griselda heroic on Ralph's part — not 
that he should support his mother and sisters, 
but that he should do so without one sigh 
of regret or one word of blame for his father. 
" Did he leave you nothing ? " she asked. 
" Nothing but debts," answered Ralph, 
quietly. 

" Aren't you angry with him, Ralph ? " 
" Dear — he is my father," said Ralph, gently, 
but expostulatingly. 

Griselda thought of the many impatient 
speeches she had made about her own father, 
and was silent. 

" I ought to be proud that such a man 
should love me," she thought. " If I were 



280 A DREAMER. 

always with him, he would make me some- 
thing like him, perhaps/' 

Yet still she delayed to speak the word that 
would bind Ralph to herself. She would try 
the world a little longer first. So far her path 
had been smoother than she had expected. 
Her work was becoming familiar; her em- 
ployers were satisfied and encouraging ; her 
father was pleased, and inclined to reform. 
One day Agnes, paying her a visit, was 
struck by her little cousin's improved spirits. 

** Your life seems to agree with you, Gris- 
elda," she said, looking with admiration on the 
bright face and soft sparkling eyes. " I never 
believed Mr Temple when he said it would be 
too great a strain for you ; you look as dif- 
ferent as possible from the pale sad child you 
were a few months ao^o.'' 

*' Did Mr Temple say that ? '' said Gris- 
elda, becoming very grave. " What did he 
mean ?" 

*' That it would make you ill, I suppose/' 
returned Agnes. 

Griselda shook her head. '' No ; I don't 



**FOR henry's sake." 281 

think he meant that. I think he meant I 
should probably do something foolish.'' 

^' You odd litde girl," said Agnes, laughing. 
'' Philip is a dreadful cridc, but I don't think 
he intended anything so severe as that." 

The remainder of Griselda's time in London 
passed, on the whole, gaily and in comparative 
happiness. She was bright and sparkling as 
a rule, her low-spirited fits being as excep- 
tional now as once her merriment had been. 

A stormy day is often marked by a few 
hours of sunshine. 



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